Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Bona Dea was not visited today. Instead a friend and I went for a hike on Mt. Nebo near Dardanelle, AR. Saw some nice ice formations and some big rocks on cliffs on Rim Trail that were in danger of falling as some have done so recently. The camping places on Bench Trail were updated and looked nice. Yours truly trying to find a place to hide. Pic by Ray Cole.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Bona Dea was nice today. Not windy for a change. The Great Blue Heron was about and I got within a few feet of him. He's becoming a pet. Saw a Black Duck by the pumping station. Also Mallards to the east of the Swinging Bridge trail. A Belted Kingfisher was there also. Several Blue Winged Teal ducks flew overhead making their usual noises. Woodland Sparrows were about. Took some pics will have to post later. Up at the eastern parking lot there were flocks of Robins flying around. They seem to do this this time of year. Starling flocks were flying around the city of Russellville today. They are a nuisance.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Did not go very far today. Stayed close to the area by the Eastern parking lot. Did see a hawk but it was flying and couldn't identify. There was a man walking two small dogs that looked like 2 rats on a leash. Looks like overseers have trimmed most of the bushes around the parking lot.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Bona Dea was sunny and very windy and cold today. Too windy to do any fish feeding. The Great Blue Heron was standing up Prarie Creek from the Spillway in a swallow pool that was created when the water receded from the recent backup water. I suppose it was getting an easy supper of the trapped fish. The Vulchers were flying high again over their roosting spot. Cardinals were hopping about again. There were several old school playground balls stuck in trees beside the creek where the water was very high. Junk from the Russellville area wash into drainage ditches in town and go down into Prarie Creek which drains into Bona Dea. You see all kinds of trash all over. The Corps cleans out the area behind the pumping station about twice a year to get rid of the trash. The catfish I talked about yesterday was gone today. I am sure a racoon or other creature got a feast last night. Several coon tracks along the creek bank close by.
Today I went to Bona Dea. The water had receeded a lot. Yesterday the trail to the spillway was flooded and so were many other areas. This is actually a flood drainage for the city of Russellville. The Corps of Engineers pump the water out of this drainage. As I arrived at the spillway a Great Blue Heron was standing in the running water waiting for a meal. A small catfish was lying on the side near by. The bird had apparently caught it and decided it was too big to swallow. It flew away when I got close but kept trying to come back. I left and snuck back and watched it fish awhile. As I left the area, I heard a big splash as if someone had thrown something in the water close by. I kept looking and saw a beaver swimming away. They use their tails to beat the water when they are startled. But I too was startled. I then made my way to the Boyscout bird blind where I saw several ducks, mostly Mallard, mulling about. That pool of water is where the ducks and geese from this area congragate when it gets dusk in the winter. I saw very small grey squirrls. Some large male cardinals. They are big out there. Also this time of year the Turkey Vulchers fly in mass at the southwest end of the Sanctuary. They roost just outside the park on a hillside. For some reason this time of year the sea gulls come in the thousands and fly all the time. I suppose they like to fly over Lake Dardanelle which is right across dike road. They have grassy fields next to Bona Dea and they land there to graze. Quite a site. Also the local hiking club "Takahik" has put up a decorated Christmas tree on a cedar tree by one of the trails. Kinda nice for the season. This is my first post so I wanted to give a description of this place and will add posts from time to time. Hope to start taking pics soon.