Tony Fitzpatrick

Enjoy this celebration of birding with great food, music, and art while helping the ABA help birds and birders!

At this afternoon party, we will announce the species, and unveil the painting of the 2020 ABA Bird of the Year, by Chicago icon and prominent American artist Tony Fitzpatrick.

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#ABArare – Brown Booby – Arkansas

Vickie and Pat Martin photographed a bird perched on the roof of their dock at Lake Norrell, about 20 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas, on the evening of Aug 9. Vickie Martin took the photos to work the next day to ask a coworker, birder Dottie Boyles, what it was. She identified it as a Brown Booby (Code 3), a first record for the state (pending acceptance), and notified other birders. A group got there in time to see it fly in to roost on the dock roof, the same location as the previous night.

ABArare Brown Booby AR
photo by Donna Haynes

The Martins are letting birders look for the bird from their property, located on a long peninsula on the north side of the lake. On the Arkansas Birding list, Dan Scheiman noted that Google Maps and his Garmin GPS gave directions that take you on an unnecessarily long drive on an unpaved road (Rushing Road). He provided alternative directions [I added a few items]:

From I-430 on the west side of Little Rock, take the Colonel Glenn Road exit. Go west less than a mile and turn left on Lawson Road. You will drive on Lawson a long distance, perhaps about 15 miles. Along the way, it becomes East Lawson Road at the intersection with County Line Road, then West Lawson Road at the intersection with Congo Ferndale Road. West Lawson Road ends at a fork. Take the right (west) fork, which is Lake Norrell Road. This road goes west at first but then bends north. As you approach the lake, you’ll come to a four-way intersection. Turn right onto Lake Norrell Drive. It goes north, bends west and then south. It then turns back to the north. At this point, turn left onto North Lake Drive. North Lake Drive becomes Eagle Nest. The Martins’ house, 17007 Eagle Nest, is on the right just before the road ends. It has a dirt semi-circular driveway.

There is a white gate on the left side of the house. Go through it and then behind the house. You’ll see steep stone stairs that go down to the dock. Look for the bird from the stairs.

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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.