Date: 7/10/22 7:25 am
From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...>
Subject: BIRDS AND BEES AT CHESNEY PRAIRIE NATURAL AREA
Yesterday’s Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trip to Chesney Prairie Natural Area began when it wasn’t actually cool at 7:30 and ended by 10 when it was indisputably insufferable. We mainly slow-walked 1-mile on a mowed trail (many thanks to Land Steward Joe Woolbright of Ozark Ecological Restoration, Inc).
Yellow-billed Cuckoos singing in the heat. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers overhead in formation. Blue Grosbeaks in adjoining fields. Mainly a grand party of Dickcissels, with many adults carrying food like grasshoppers in their beaks to fledglings hidden in rising native grasses. 30+ species overall. Dr Vivek Govind Kumar, who will soon be leaving Arkansas for his post-doc position, submitted this eBird list:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S114749784<https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Febird.org%2Fchecklist%2FS114749784&data=05%7C01%<7Carbird-l...>%7C8591e548563d4096203908da62800477%7C79c742c4e61c4fa5be89a3cb566a80d1%7C0%7C0%7C637930599208158592%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=so%2FhP7vMYd7uybLuDstfHS67xBdl4ZcrwmwVyDu%2BVXE%3D&reserved=0>
We have been doing a Chesney trip around second week in July for over a decade. It is the time of unimaginable glories of a Tallgrass Prairie gesturing towards ultimates, accompanied by all manner of pollinating creatures. Blazing Stars (Liatris species, AKA Gayfeathers) are in early bloom. Ashy Sunflowers are starting.
Native prairies thrive in the intense solar radiation. Watching pollinators going about assigned tasks, my heat-addled brain drifted back to a field trip, July 11, 2011, attended by Amber Tripodi, who back then was a PhD candidate studying bumblebees. She told us many just called her the “bee gal.” She shared with us her enthusiasms for pollinators, including several bumblebee species. It made a very suitable addition to the informal agenda of this field trip. We are still looking.


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