Tuesday, February 13, 2007


January 26, 2007

Started the morning setting up the truck for travel, getting clothes, books, optics and computers together. Had to spend over an hour updating the HP for possible internet connections, tho it's mostly for running the GPS. Then set out for SW Arkansas and Millwood Lake. Charles Mills had found one, then two and three Rock Wrens, a species I'd tried for many times in AR unsuccessfully. Found two of them on the Okay Levee, most of a mile of large rock rip-rap, but it took a lot of walking, since I set out initially in the wrong direction, then back past my start point, and beyond. First new tic for the trip. I was at 5430 total tics at the start.

I messed around in Ashdown getting gas and groceries and some dinner, and got back to Millwood State Park after dark. It was pretty deserted. I was fairly tired from 6.5 hours of driving and dealing with getting the logistics working. But some time after midnight I woke up to an unfamiliar owl sound. If it's not too uncomfortable (weather or bugs) I like to sleep with the back lid of the shell up just for the night listening. I went through the owls I knew well, and no match. Got up and got the tapes from the cab and played other remote possibilities, and discovered that I was being serenaded by a Long-eared Owl, which are uncommon in Arkansas in the winter, and especially this far south. Flirted with the idea of calling Charles Mills in the morning, but decided that my reputation as an imaginary birder spoke against it. More on that later when I feel like typing out my rant. But a great find for AR in the middle of the night.


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