Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Today was very pleasant at Bona Dea. It was sunny and not windy and things were drying out from the rain the last few days but more expected shortly. On Parkway Hwy to the park there were no Cormorants on the snag in Lake Dardanelle but saw one flying overhead. Also in the lake was a Pied-billed Grebe which is a very small brown duck which dives very deep and comes up some distance away. The sea Gulls were flying in mass and making all kinds of noise all over the lake and Bona Dea. Saw a few single Turkey Vultures flying about. Did not see any ducks at all today. On Swinging Bridge Trail there were flocks of Carolina Chickadees. Saw a pair of Hermit Thrush birds in the bushes and then flying to the ground in the woods. They are a redish brown bird about the shape of a blackbird. Also around the Prarie Creek pumping station I heard a Northern Mockingbird. They are around my house also. Northern Cardinals were all over the park singing away. I saw and heard maybe the same Tufted Titmouse bird on Swinging Bridge trail that I saw and heard the other day. Acadian Flycatcher birds were in the trees by the trail and at the spillway. Also saw a Gray Squirrel beside the trail toward the pumping station. I went to Bullfrog Pond to see what was happening there and did not see anything but a small pretty White Dogwood tree that I hope to take a photo of soon before the blooms go away. Back at the spillway I crossed over to the other side on the deer trail and stayed over there quite a while. There was this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, don't laugh, woodpecker that flew from one tree to another and then back and forth to and from the same tree. I was standing in the middle of the 2 trees. It seemed to just want to stay in the same area and intertain me. And it did. Another one came in but left and the first one stayed until I left. They are pretty in that they have a spot of red on top of the head and a solid red throat and black and white body with a white stripe down the side of the lower part of the wings. Some Downy Woodpeckers flew into the area. As I was leaving down swinging bridge trail, I again saw some Downy Woodpeckers close to the spillway but farther down I saw a pair of larger woodpeckers that looked just like the Downy small woodpeckers but these were noticibly larger with same coloration and markings etc. They seem to have a larger bill also. Well these are Hairy Woodpeckers. They have a small red spot on the head and black and white markings on the body. The Eastern Phoebe Flycatcher was still on the trail and it seems to go from side to side of the trail on the trees and then in the bushes in Goose Pond to the east of the trail. It or they come to that area each year. I suppose they nest nearby. The pair of Canadian Geese I have been seeing in the area where there today but moved across the trail to Waldon Pond and stayed on the far or west end today. The basking turtles were all over the stumps and snaps in all the ponds and in Prarie Creek. American Crows, the big black birds, were flying all over the park. Over by the old swinging bridge there was a flock of Fox Sparrows scratching in the leaves for food. Across the creek from the spillway, I heard a Barred Owl. Some people in this part of the country call them a Hoot Owl. Don't really know why unless they don't give a hoot. Also the gnats were swarming above the spillway and in that area was the first time this year I saw the red Wasps. They are insects that have a pretty good sting to them. As a kid I used to shoot their nests with a bb gun and they would follow the shots right down to me and fly behind me and if I did not run fast enough they would get me somewhere. Usually where it hurt. They usually build nests in bushes over the ponds in the summer. But today was the day for the woodpeckers.

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