Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bona Dea Update

On Tuesday the 25th. Mr. Paul Ray joined me at Bona Dea. He had his camera equipment and took some photos. The day started out cool and got warmer as time went on. This link will take you to more of the photos that were taken. They are dated 01-25-11 at the end of the album. We ran out of battery juice before we got through but out on Lake Dardanelle across from Bona Dea were a pair of Bufflehead ducks. These are not found that often around the park area. This photo shown at the link is exactly like the ones we saw on the lake. Also close to them was a Double-crested Cormorant spreading its wings as they often do. A photo here of me feeding the deer and birds and other critters on Prairie Creek.A closeup of a Great Blue Heron in flight as we scared it off and it scared us as we did not see it right away. Double click the photo and look at the sharp claws on this dude. The nest in a tree is a Barred Owl nest. That must be the nest of the owl I have been hearing every time of go to the area late in the evening. The small bird with the yellow streak on its head is a Golden-crowned Kinglet. This bird actually came to me when I was calling to it. It came within 2 or 3 feet several times. It is a very small bird and is very active. They are here just for the winter and will be leaving in the spring. We saw these ducks as we were walking along Beaver Trail and they were swimming in line following one after the other military style. Very small and compact with large heads. They are the black and white ducks. Notice their shadow in the water.There were several female Northern-shoveler ducks swimming together with no males in sight just ahead of the Ring Necks. Must be a female only meeting. They are the brownish ducks with orange legs. Also double click the photo to see the shovel looking beaks they have. They use it to dig in the mud. The ducks that are standing on the mud bar are Lesser Scaup ducks. They were just up stream from the pumping station. We also took photos of 3 different species of Sparrows: Field, Swamp and White-throated. Also Northern Cardinals and a Downy Woodpecker and some Eastern Chickadee birds. Photos shown at the link shown above. We had a good outing and saw some unusual wildlife. I was out at the park today , Friday the 28th., to feed the wildlife and while on the site a very big owl flew over and landed in a tree across the creek. Could not ID but it was not a smaller Barred Owl. It look more like a Great Horned Owl. Several flocks of what looked like Mallard Ducks flew in to Black Water Swamp about dark. A scary thing was that after nightfall I was walking on Serendipity Trail toward Waldon Way Trail and something in the woods close to the trail jumped and ran a short distance in the leaves and limbs on the ground. I believe it was a Raccoon by the way it moved and the sound of it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bona Dea and Sequoyah State Park Updates

Bona Dea has been very cold the last few weeks. There has been some snow and ice off and on and the creeks and ponds have ice on them all the time. I have been feeding the deer and doves and looks like some raccoons and other birds. Can tell by their tracks. Need to get a game camera and see what all comes around. I have been there after dark a lot of times and today, Friday, I saw walking along on a very cloudy and overcast night and pretty dark and heard what sounded like someone throwing a very big rock in the water by the trail. It did it again a little farther down. I figured it was a Beaver but did not see it. They flap their tails when trying to warn others of impending dangers. I heard this a few weeks back at the exact same place and swore that someone was on the other side and throwing rocks to scare me. Also the last few nights there has been a Barred Owl hooting, calling, for its mate. Also at exactly the same place. In fact, I heard the owl a couple of times and then the Beaver doing its thing. It was sorta scary. If it was Halloween, I would have probably took off to the moon. Also the Turkey Vultures have been swarming overhead just before dark going round and round and landing in various trees close to Waldon Way Trail. I took a photo shown here some time back of what they have been looking like. Hugh black buzzards with a bare red featherless head.The Canadian Geese are flying in flocks overhead and landing in Black Water Swamp for their nightly stay. Also several varieties of ducks doing the same. Where I feed the chopped corn, there are hugh roosts of Mourning Doves. They have a habit of drinking water just before roosting for the night and then roost compacted together in a cedar tree that has thick branches for winter weather protection. My friend Paul Ray went to Sequoyah State Park in Eastern Oklahoma USA last week and took some interesting photos. The ones I have posted here besides the roosting Turkey Vultures are his photos. One is of a Bald Eagle on its nest. Then a passing car scared it off and he took this photo of it in flight. Also a closeup of a Red-shouldered Hawk in a tree close by. Then an American Wigeon duck. The one with the green mark on the head in the water behind some weeds. And a Gadwal duck. The lone duck one the water with the black rump. Here is a link to see all the photos he sent me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bona Dea Snow Update

Today was a snowy day at Bona Dea. It started snowing yesterday afternoon and continued for 24 hours off and on. It only snowed a little over 2 inches for that duration. But it covered the ground pretty good. Here, you can view photos of the snow there taken last year and today. I have included a few here with this post. Someone made and small snowman on a sawed tree trunk. I got to it late and used a flash for enough light and it looks like a snow ghost don't you think? For some reason the Herring Sea Gulls were flying all over the park and town yesterday and today. They must like the snow or were looking for food anywhere.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bona Dea and Holla Bend Refuges Updates

I have some new photos taken at Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge near Dardanelle, Arkansas which is about 12 miles from Bona Dea. Paul Ray came by for another visit and we took his camera equipment to Holla Bend. Here is a link to that photo album: However I have shown here a photo of a American White Pelican closeup of its opening its very big beak used to eat very big fish. Also a closeup of a young Bald Eagle. The one with the white head and a closeup of a Red Tail Hawk that is sitting in a small tree. We went to Bona Dea also on last Tuesday and I got this first ever photo for me of a Gadwal duck in a private pond right next to one of the trails at Bona Dea. Today, I went to feed the deer and doves at the park and I scared off a Green-winged Teal duck. Did not have my camera but here is 2 links for info. on them. Also today, Friday, there were several flocks of both Black and Turkey Vultures flying overhead. More than I have seen in some time. It had rained over 2 inches the other day and the creeds and ponds were looking a little better. I fed the fish at the Spillway for the first time in a long time. They seemed to be too cold to care much about eating. A lot of people out in the cold weather the last few weeks running or riding bikes or just walking about. The Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks are plentiful this year at the park. The geese come in from the open waters to spend the night at the park and they come in dozens at a time at nightfall. Different varieties of ducks do the same.