Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will host a “pop up” loon-watching trip to Tenkiller Ferry Lake in eastern Oklahoma on Saturday, November 18th starting 10:00 AM. Tenkiller is one of the best lakes for high numbers of wintering loons – by mid-November we expect to see 100+ Common Loons. We have seen both Pacific Loon and Red-throated Loon here, but these cannot be guaranteed. We expect to see American White Pelicans, several gull species, Forster’s Terns, numerous Horned Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants, a few Bald Eagles, etc. This trip consists of driving to a series of stops at points along the lake where we can scan lots of water with very little walking. You will be able to see a lot with binoculars, but bring a scope if you have one. We will share scope views as needed. We will meet at Oklahoma Station (GPS: 35.762774, -94.906018) at 10:00 AM, then work our way South along the East side of the lake. The whole trip will last into the mid-late afternoon but you can leave whenever you’ve had your fill of loons. The trip is free and open to the public. You do not have to be a member of NWAAS to attend.
We have attempted to pick a relatively warm and low wind day, but we still encourage dressing for winter birding (hat, gloves, layers) since we’ll be doing a lot of standing still at the end of a large body of water. There will be minimal walking at each stop, but sometimes we may walk along a shoreline, so sturdy shoes are still recommended. There are no restrooms at the meeting location, but there will be a couple restrooms we can stop at as we work our way up the lake. Gas stations offer some basic food options, but packing a lunch, snacks, and drinks might be a better choice. There will be an option to carpool from the meeting location for those willing to shuttle back there at the end of the day.
We will meet in on the north side of Tenkiller Ferry Lake at Oklahoma Station (GPS: 35.762774, -94.906018). It’s about a 1 to 1.5 hour drive from NWA depending on where you’re leaving from. We recommend looking up driving directions ahead to time for a timely arrival. If you’re a little late and miss the caravan, you should be able to catch up to us at Standing Rock Landing Public Use Area (GPS: 35.751405, -94.920133). Call or text Taylor Long any time before or during the trip at 479-530-9084.
Links to each eBird hotspot and GPS coordinates linked to Google Maps directions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.