Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bonaparte's gulls crossing Beaver Lake's dam catch Joe Neal's attention on January 14, 2009

Yesterday morning, from about 7:30 AM to 9:20 AM, I watched as
Bonaparte's Gulls streamed into Beaver Lake in flocks of 10-30. By
9:30 I had tallied a minimum of 342 birds. They came in from the NE,
crossing the north end of the dam. After crossing into the dam site,
they continued up the lake and out of sight. Perhaps they had flown
from a night roost on Table Rock Lake, like Beaver an impoundment of
the former White River that begins just downstream from the Beaver dam
site. I know that 342 Bonaparte's Gulls are just chump change compared
to counts further south, but this is a very high count for NW
Arkansas. I'm not sure I'm a gullophile myself, but it was a
fascinating few hours, and I may have seen a fair percentage of the
Bonaparte's spread out on Beaver. Later in the day, the biggest flock
I saw was at Lost Bridge North Park, where approx. 45 Bonaparte's --
including a dozen Ring-billed -- worked a flock of 50 goldeneyes. It
was a windy day, but I did see the Western Grebe again from Slate Gap

JOSEPH C. NEAL in Fayetteville, Arkansas. "Nature is already as good
as it possibly can be. He who seeks to improve it will spoil it. He
who tries to direct it will mislead it and become lost himself." --
Chinese philosopher about 2,500 years ago

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