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We just got back from short trip to eastern Arkansas, which we had been 
planning for over a month.  Started in the south-east with red-cockaded 
woodpeckers, then worked northward.  At the beautiful new White River NWR 
headquarters, I asked about access to areas of the Cache River NWR (since we 
had originally planned to go there).  The woman there gave us a nice map of 
the area which showed the refuge boundries, the "restricted access" areas 
(i.e. nobody but researchers allowed), and areas that are still open.  The  
Dagmar WMA near Brinkley is an area where they are encouraging birders to 
go.  I don't know if that's because it is nowhere near where the ivory-bill 
was seen, or because it is state land, or what.  But we had a look around, 
and they have wonderful signs up describing the ivory-bill, it's recent 
sighting in the area, and it's history.  All very interesting, and obviously 
very new.  The area is absolutely beautiful (except for the mosquitoes) and 
it is very easy to see how this (these?) birds can remain hidden there.

We had a wonderful time birding the roadways, and there was something quite 
special about knowing that THE woodpecker could be so close by.  And believe 
me, everytime a pileated flew through the trees, our hearts just stopped for 
a split second!  Had we taken our trip a week earlier, we would have gone 
through those woods and probably not even thought about seeing an 
ivory-bill, let alone actually LOOKED for one.

We talked to one old fisherman who told us that he had seen one---even had a 
picture of it.  Of course our first thought was "yeah, right."  But hey, who 
knows.  Those fishermen spend a lot of time out in those swamps, and if they 
don't know the birds, they wouldn't know to report something that they don't 
know is rare.  Though I still have my doubts!

Plus, I figured this sighting may cause another "Patagonia Roadside Rest 
Phenomonon".  So, knowing that I would not likely see an ivory-bill, I 
looked especially hard for a Bachman's warbler.  Alas, I had no luck on 
either count.

Glad to be back home in Missouri......
Nancy Rochovansky
Shell Knob, Barry Co.

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