Birding at Millwood State Park

millwoodbirding2Arkansas offers exceptional birding opportunities throughout the state. One prime location is Millwood Lake in Ashdown. The lake and the surrounding environs are rated tops in the state for bird watching.

Three destinations — the lake, the spillway and Okay Levee – have produced an amazing number of rare sightings over the years. Among those birds captured with binoculars: the Long-tailed Jaeger, Sabine’s Gull, the Black-headed Gull, Magnificent Frigatebird, and the Bridled Tern. The state’s first ever Cave Swallow was recorded as being sighted near the spillway on May 29, 2005.

millwoodbirding1Beard’s Bluff Overlook and the parking lot below Beard’s Bluff campground are excellent locations from which to scope the lake. The overlook and nearby Beard’s Lake campground can both be excellent for migrating passerines such as warblers, vireos and orioles.

The Okay Levee area has traditionally produced the best land-bird rarities including Say’s Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Couch’s Kingbird, Northern Wheatear, McCown’s Longspur, Groove-billed Ani, and in 2007 a pair of Snow Buntings.

Millwood Lake became an Important Birding Area on January 31, 2004. More details about Millwood State Park can be found at www.arkansasstateparks.com/millwood/ or by calling 870-898-2800.

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