WOW ! What a contrast in color ! Click to Enlarge photos. Their are about 100 of them and they are really LOUD!:
I caught this photo from the NE edge of Mount Judea at dawn. Mt. Judea is the NE extent of the continuous Boston Mountains looking NE towards Bull Shoals Lake (about 60 miles NE). The hills in the distance are along the middle Buffalo National River near the area where Big Creek joins the Buffalo. Unfortunately, there is a huge Commercial Hog Operation about 5 miles above the Buffalo River (outside the National Park Service lands), but the hog waste has permeated the Karst topography and entered Big Creek and then the Buffalo, River causing unacceptable levels of nitrogen and other effluents to pollute our beautiful river. Just does not seem right !! CLICK TO ENLARGE.
There are many quail in the valley this year ! This is a huge comeback from last spring/summer – when I rarely saw one and heard only a few all summer. This year, they started calling around April 20th; seems all day every day. So happy to hear them and I see them almost daily too. I do see several every week.
Much more common in OK and TX and far Western AR, and scarce here are the beautiful Painted Buntings. I saw nesting pair this morning here and was able to take a few photos. They seem to be in semi-dry areas, old fields, along fence rows and frequently occur with Dicsissels, Eastern Kingbirds, Blue Grosbeaks, and Scissor Tail Flycatchers. If you find these birds along a dry road with a fence with brush against the fence posts, you may be able to find a Painted Bunting.