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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/RANDY MOLL Mary Riorden of Bella Vista watches for birds from a pavilion along the Eagle Watch Nature Trail on Saturday. Riorden was one of more than 40 bird watchers who came out to Eagle Watch as a part of a Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trip on Saturday morning.

GENTRY -- Eagle Watch Nature Area was a busy place Saturday morning with 50 or more members and guests from the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society visiting and watching for bald eagles and other birds along the trail and lake and at the three observation platforms along the quarter-mile walking trail.

Visitors brought cameras, spotting scopes and binoculars to scan the trees, skies and the shoreline for birds, and a variety of birds were on hand along SWEPCO Lake, with some bald eagles flying overhead. The birdwatchers seemed to especially enjoy the newest pavilion with a walkway and viewing platform out over the marshy section of the SWEPCO Lake inlet.

Other sightings included a great blue heron, song sparrows, a ring-billed gull, a single double-crested cormorant perched on a snag out in the lake, and last summer's Baltimore oriole nest hanging from a leafless limb near the blind.

The Ozark witch hazel which was blooming along the trail again this year got everyone's attention with its strong fragrance.

Following the visit to Eagle Watch, Audubon Society members also visited other parts of western Benton County to observe area birds. Sightings included numerous bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, a flock of white-crowned sparrows and a Harris' sparrow.

The field trip at Eagle Watch was led by Terry Stanfill, local wildlife photographer and caretaker of the Eagle Watch Nature Area which is owned by Southwest Electric Power Company in connection with its Flint Creek Power Plant. Joe Neal was the Audubon Society leader.

General News on 02/06/2019

Print Headline: Audubon Society members make trip to Eagle Watch

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