#ABArare - Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch - Arkansas
I occasionally get to write things that I never thought I'd write. The title of this post is one of those things. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches have a history of vagrancy, but most extralimital records are from the northern tier of the US and southern parts of Canada, with some birds reaching the northeast U.S. (there were two in New York this winter) so the bird discovered by Don Simons at Mount Magazine State Park, a first for Arkansas (pending acceptance), was, to put it mildly, unexpected.
Simons found the bird next to the park's visitor center parking lot in the morning of May 6. Other birders saw it throughout the day up until just after 7:30 PM. It was usually seen on the side of the lot across from the visitor center.
Mount Magazine State Park is about a 60-mile drive ESE of Fort Smith, AR. Some of the easternmost Rufous-crowned Sparrows occur in the park (look for them at the hang glider area; here's a map to help you find it). Signal Hill, the highest point in Arkansas at 2753 feet, is located near the hang glider area.