The Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will host an evening field trip on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Lake Wedington, west of Fayetteville, to witness the “sky dance” of the American Woodcock. We’ll meet promptly at 5:30 p.m. (the time window for their evening display is narrow). Carpooling is strongly encouraged as parking is very limited at the site. This field trip will be co-led by Taylor Long and woodcock expert Dr. David Krementz, UA-Fayetteville (retired), who will tell us a lot about woodcocks at the parking site. We will walk a short distance out into the fields and wait in place for the woodcock displays to begin near and shortly after sunset (~6:00 p.m.). The terrain is relatively flat but can be uneven. We recommend good shoes, warm clothes (not too bright), and a flashlight. The displays won’t last too long; expect to be heading back to the car by 6:30 p.m.
If this trip doesn’t fit your schedule woodcocks display in many open fields at this time of year, including those at Lake Fayetteville. In recent years, woodcocks have displayed immediately west of the Environmental Study Center on the disk golf course. Learn more about what to expect and when/where to look in this great Audubon article: Do Yourself a Favor This Spring: Go See the American Woodcock’s ‘Sky Dance’
Because parking is limited at this site, we’re asking participants to RSVP to limit our group size to no more than 30. To RSVP, email [email protected] to let us know you plan on attending the Woodcock field trip. In your email, please include your name and the total number in your party.
From Fayetteville, head west on HWY 16 to Lake Wedington. Continue past the main entrance to Lake Wedington Recreation Area, and travel west on Highway 16 for 1.9 miles. A small grass parking area is directly across from a barn with a metal roof in disrepair and a 2-story house (GPS: 36.099495, -94.408563).
Carpooling is strongly encouraged as parking is very limited at the site. There’s a nice paved parking area near the main entrance of Lake Wedington Rec Area (GPS: 36.0918163, -94.3776189) that’s a great place to meet friends and consolidate vehicles before heading to the woodcock site less than two miles away. We’ll park as many cars as we can in the parking area, and the rest may park along the south side of HWY 16.
When the weather is bad for humans, it’s usually bad for birds too. We’ll cancel the trip at least 12 hours in advance if the weather is forecasted to be dangerous or unsuitable for birding. Field trip cancellations will be emailed to the NWAAS field trip list (email [email protected] to be added to this list). We’ll also try to post wherever else we can in a timely manner (Facebook, etc.)
Contact info for questions about the trip.
All Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trips are free and open to the public. We always welcome new members, but membership in NWAAS is not required for participation. We try to make our field trips accessible to everyone, all ages, abilities, interests. Beginning birders are always welcome. We have field trips on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate different schedules. We try to arrange carpools where possible.
For maps and more information about these places, check the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society web site http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/ and the section “Places to bird in northwest Arkansas” (under Menu on upper left side of the home page).
If you are interested in being added to the NWAAS email list for updates on field trips and other society events, please send a message to: [email protected]. Some of the information on the trips below can change, so additional details & updates about trips are sent via the email prior to the announced date -- check the NWAAS Facebook page for the latest.
SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS! Our field trips are open to everyone. We try to warn about any special dangers that might be encountered, but neither NWAAS nor individual field trip leaders assume responsibility for personal safety. If you have special needs, or special concerns, please ask the field trip leader before the trip starts. We do not knowingly place anyone in danger on any field trip. We count on those who attend to keep trips safe for everyone.