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Posts Tagged ‘Newton’

I believe southeastern Newton County and Pope County got a bit more rain (3-4″) the we did here near Parthenon. A Flash Flood Warning was issued for the Richland Creek Campground yesterday afternoon, then more rain came in the evening. I felt that early this morning would be the best time to drive over and check it out. Falling Water Creek was only up about 6 inches at 8 AM; which was a disappointment to me. I expected to see it in flood stage. It was pretty anyway and the azaleas are in bloom at this time:

 

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As of yesterday there were no fleglings in the redheaded woodpecker trees I follow along the Little Buffalo in Murray, Arkansas. The two adults are still actively feeding the hatchlings; best I can tell is that there are 4 in this nest:

 

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Yesterday was a gorgeous day; the temperature here in Murray Valley reached 40F. I spotted a pair of Red headed woodpeckers in the Little Buffalo River bottoms near their forage area. They are nesting high in some dead trees not far from the river. The pair spent the day removing old material, possibly forage, from the hole they selected; maybe making 30 trips around the tree in the hour I watched. They ate lots of wasps also. Guess they are plentiful on these sunny warner days. They are magnificent birds !!!

We are expecting a cool down the first part of this week an then much warmer next week. I now expect the main warbler and vireo migration to begin around April 15th; nesting always begins in late April and early May:

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It is a beautiful day; the rain fizzled out and we are stuck with just 0.25 inch of the 2.0 + forecast. I noticed that a pair of Belted Kingfishers was beginning to nest at the Little Buffalo Crossing down the hill. They make lots of continuous racket and are fun to watch as they rattle around. Photo taken with a 7D and a 300 mm f/2.8 lens. They have chosen a high mud bank about 10′ above the river; hope it’s high enough to protect from spring floods. The bird was in a willow tree next to the river for this photo.

  • Size & Shape

    Belted Kingfishers are stocky, large-headed birds with a shaggy crest on the top and back of the head and a straight, thick, pointed bill. Their legs are short and their tails are medium length and square-tipped.

  • Color Pattern

    These kingfishers are powder blue above with fine, white spotting on the wings and tail. The underparts are white with a broad, blue breast band. Females also have a broad rusty band on their bellies. Juveniles show irregular rusty spotting in the breast band.

  • Behavior

    Belted Kingfishers spend much of their time perched alone along the edges of streams, lakes, and estuaries, searching for small fish. They also fly quickly up and down rivers and shorelines giving loud rattling calls. They hunt either by plunging directly from a perch, or by hovering over the water, bill downward, before diving after a fish they’ve spotted.

  • Habitat

    Kingfishers live near streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and estuaries. They nest in burrows that they dig into soft earthen banks, usually adjacent to or directly over water. Kingfishers spend winters in areas where the water doesn’t freeze so that they have continual access to their aquatic foods.

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I think they cleared a 25 feet wide brush patch:

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Picture is worth a thousand words:

 

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It sunny and warming up today. We will have a few nice days now until a strong cold front cools us off (a lot) about Monday. Today, at Murray, I caught this Carolina Wren in a Black Locust tree in the early morning. One of my favorite birds !

In summer it can seem that every patch of woods in the eastern United States rings with the rolling song of the Carolina Wren. This shy bird can be hard to see, but it delivers an amazing number of decibels for its size. Follow its teakettle-teakettle! and other piercing exclamations through backyard or forest, and you may be rewarded with glimpses of this bird’s rich cinnamon plumage, white eyebrow stripe, and long, upward-cocked tail. This hardy bird has been wintering farther and farther north in recent decades.

  • Size & Shape

    The Carolina Wren is a small but chunky bird with a round body and a long tail that it often cocks upward. The head is large with very little neck, and the distinctive bill marks it as a wren: long, slender, and downcurved.

  • Color Pattern

    Both males and females are a bright, unpatterned reddish-brown above and warm buffy-orange below, with a long white eyebrow stripe, dark bill, and white chin and throat.

  • Behavior

    The Carolina Wren creeps around vegetated areas and scoots up and down tree trunks in search of insects and fruit. It explores yards, garages, and woodpiles, sometimes nesting there. This wren often cocks its tail upward while foraging and holds it down when singing. Carolina Wrens defend their territories with constant singing; they aggressively scold and chase off intruders.

  • Habitat

    Look—or listen—for Carolina Wrens singing or calling from dense vegetation in wooded areas, especially in forest ravines and neighborhoods. These birds love to move low through tangled understory; they frequent backyard brush piles and areas choked with vines and bushes.

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