Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Neal announces first Audubon field trip for 2009 series to be held on December 28, 2008!

Everyone is welcome to join the newly reorganized Northwest Arkansas
Audubon Society on a field trip to the Eagle Watch Nature Area, just
west of Gentry in Benton County. Sunday, December 28, 2008. Meet at
the parking area just off highway 12, at 9 AM. I will post directions
below. It can be a birdy place, and not just Bald Eagles. After, some
may want to "retire" to a locale a few miles away, for Great-tailed
Grackles, etc.

DIRECTIONS AND OTHER INFO: Notice Highway 59 on your Arkansas highway
map. Gentry is at the intersection of 59 and Highway 12. From this
intersection, travel W on 12 for approx. two miles. The Eagle Watch
Nature Area is approx. 1 mile W of the city limits on the S side of
the highway. Look for the parking lot on the highway?s S side,
immediately E of the highway bridge spanning Little Flint Creek. There
is an information sign in the parking area.
The approx. 1,500 acres of EWNA are part the 500-acre SWEPCO Lake,
constructed to provide cooling water for the coal-fired plant
generating electricity for NW Arkansas. During winter, temperatures in
the lake average in the low 70s. This warm water is presumably the
source of some interesting bird records. The parking lot is the
starting point for a trail that is 0.5 miles long (1 mile round trip).
The trail is well-marked, generally level, and easily walked because
of a thick bed of mulch. The first 0.3 miles include open fields and
the Little Flint Creek bottoms. There is a farm to the E, and a
forested ridge to the W. The final 0.2 miles includes an optional
steeper path into typical Ozark woodland. The trail ends at an
attractive pavilion that provides tables, an appealing overlook of
part of the lake and forested ridges, and information about the flora
and fauna of EWNA.

JOSEPH C. NEAL in Fayetteville, Arkansas. "I have great faith in a
seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to
expect wonders." -- HD Thoreau


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