Lake Maumelle is the sleeper birding hotspot of central Arkansas. Considering its proximity to a population center, it is relatively under-birded. The lake has hosted a number of rare species including Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Surf Scoter, and White-winged Scoter. One group of five Red-throated Loons was the largest single group ever reported in Arkansas.
The confluence of two great streams of gulls over the Arkansas River near Maumelle each winter evening is an impressive sight. One stream comes up the river and the other apparently arrives after a hard day's work at the Two Pine/Brushy Island Landfill south of Jacksonville. Once conjoined, the mass of mostly Ring-billed Gulls proceeds to Lake Maumelle for the night. More than a few rarities likely mingle undiscovered in the large floating rafts of gulls.
White-winged Scoter R. Howard