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limpkins


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What's up with them?
I almost labeled/titled this "not so spur of the moment" just to have another one. HA...

So, a while back I went to see the limpkin in Tulsa... 
Then, a limpkin showed up about 45 minutes from here in Arkansas. It stuck around. I went to try and find it two days ago knowing I might need a kayak or boat to view it but didn't find the kayak I planned on getting so I just went and hiked. Didn't see the limpkin...(or the ruddy turnstone or hudsonian godwits someone saw that morning) but did see over 65 black terns... which was pretty cool.

I chased down  the kayak I was looking for yesterday and headed back...
Yesterday morning, it was reported on the OK Bird list that the limpkin in Tulsa had multiplied. There are two there now. So, I posted that to the ARBird list, went to church, went shopping, and eventually headed to Lake Sequoyah in Fayetteville, AR.
When I got there, a guy I had birded with one time walked over to me to tell me that a few of the big time birders for our state, including the state's eBird reviewer, were there earlier. I think the eBird reviewer is from Little Rock so he drove quite a ways to get this.
Anyway...
There are now two limpkins at this lake as well. That group claims they saw and MAYBE photographed a cave swallow. Pretty rare in AR... but, these are big shots so even if they don't end up with a photo, I'm sure it will count. I'll admit I'm a LITTLE jealous as, that's not something you see in this area... and, those guys are better birders than I. If I had seen that report before I got out there, I might have been more intentional in studying the swallows. Then again, it might have made me dizzy and I might have tipped over. HA
Unfortunately, I did not study the swallows while I was there. Even counting accurately...?  They had x number of bank swallows... they're less common here than the others but I think they put down 50... whatever the number was, it was counted by 10s. How do you count swallows by 10s?  You CANNOT ID and count at the same time. They are SO fast and in a big group going back and forth... makes my head spin. Always confuses me when people have "accurate" counts of them.
The cliff swallows were a little easier if you just to go under the bridge and look at active nests. I didn't focus on them so my numbers are conservative... always conservative with swallows. I'll put down 3 bank swallows, as I was SURE of that, and then will have swallow sp. for quite a few. NRWS and TRES I'll put down one or two... but, trying to get accurate numbers???  from an active(like, crazy back and forth) group while sitting in a kayak?  ACK... 

The limpkins were cool. Both they and the sandpipers didn't stay too far away. I never get such close looks at sandpipers.
It was a fun trip. My arms are going to be tired today. Easily kayaked over 2 to 2.5+ miles on the lake... and, I'm not used to that.
The kayak has draining holes in it so that if water gets in, it drains out. But unless you're a skinny kid, the kayak doesn't sit high enough and water ends up splashing up into the holes, soaking your backside.  ha.  I might have to plug those up next time I'm out.

I almost didn't get the caspian terns but they popped back up from wherever they were hiding before I left. Same with the dunlin. I searched and searched for him(or her) and couldn't find it... but near the end of my trip, I started hearing this weird call from a bird flying back and forth over the water. I eventually got looks at the colors on the bird... saw some black along with brown, enough color to decide I either had the dunlin or the ruddy turnstone someone saw the day before. (ruddy turnstone would be a good state bird, none of these are lifers, cave swallow would have been though)
I pulled my phone out of the dry bag(I was careful) and listened quietly to both species and it was for sure the dunlin. Was hoping for the turnstone but was happy to have the dunlin.

Anyway.........  was a fun day. I wish it was a little closer than 45 minutes or I'd be out there a few more times.  For now, I'll just keep watching for reports of exciting birds.

Side note... I just clicked on a tab I've had open for, well too long... looking at the recent visits for where that brown booby was spotted in MO.  It's STILL there.  Ack...  Almost 4 hour drive????  still tempted. So much harder to do that having kids here... but, I wouldn't trade my kids for the birds ever...  🙂 
Someone reported a brown booby flying over Tulsa. If that had landed and stuck around, that'd be a no brainer... I'd be there.
Maybe one will show up with the limpkins here? 

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16 minutes ago, millipede said:

The kayak has draining holes in it so that if water gets in, it drains out. But unless you're a skinny kid, the kayak doesn't sit high enough and water ends up splashing up into the holes, soaking your backside.  ha.  I might have to plug those up next time I'm out.

I use practice golf balls.  They're made of spongy foam and jam right in there.

ABA podcast last Thu. was talking about the distribution of Limpkins this spring, saying it could be a good year for sightings in new counties.  I may watch the reports for SC but I probably will ignore anything over an hour away.

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59 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I use practice golf balls.  They're made of spongy foam and jam right in there.

I'll have to look to see if that would fit well and if walmart has them but, sounds like a good idea.

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