Saturday morning started out warm and Sunny, but by late afternoon the skies started to weep. The weather this month seems to be the "same o same o," rain then a couple of dry days and then some more rain. It will be hard for me to put out a garden with weather like this.
Please bear with me starting the 5th of April as I will be having surgery on my left shoulder to repair a rotater cuff tear and part of my biceps needs fixing. I will be unable to type my article and asked Zack Owensby to run some of my older articles until I get back on my feet. I also ask your prayers for a speedy recovery as at my age it will take a while.
Anthony Gray and I head south on the Old Murfreesboro Pike past the intense flocks of starlings to turn left on Hobbs Lane. There is a small branch next to the road here and we always seem to find a few birds here as long as there is water flowing there. It seems that the Northern Cardinals are starting to sing more often and have maybe already selected a mate for breeding.
There are plenty Field Sparrows here in this area singing. They are a plain looking Sparrow with a voice that starts with a high note, then goes down the scale. I have only found these birds in a rural setting.
There were plenty Bluejays making a fuss at some unknown something over in the woods there. Bluejays will always alert other wildlife that hunters are in the woods. With breeding season at hand, it would be wise to not try and pick up a baby Bluejay on the ground. I have seen first hand that a Bluejay will attack a human, even though your intentions are for a good cause.
A Carolina Wren is singing it's, "teakettle, teakettle, teakettle" song over in the underbrush on the other side of the road. I have these birds here at home and I am in hopes of getting a pair of them to nest at my house. I have a special design in my head for a wren house, but am having trouble actually putting it to practical use.
Small Sparrows are feeding on the sides of the road and as we get a little closer, we can see that they are Chipping Sparrows. This bunch of Sparrows are really making a noise with their singing. There were several of them eating underneath my feeders this past Sunday morning, enjoying the mixed seeds that I scatter on the ground.
Crossing over Highway 231, we come onto Rocky Valley Road. This is usually a good birding road, but today, pickings are slim. Over beneath one of the culverts, we thought we saw an Eastern Phoebe, but it was too quick and was out of sight. A Carolina Chickadee was singing it's signature song over in a thicket of a canebrake.
Heading through the Cedars Of Lebanon State Park, we stop off at the park office to talk with Diane Oliver and Glenda Oakley, hoping that our resident white Tufted Titmouse had returned. There was no sighting for a couple of months and we were to think of the worst that could go wrong, had gone wrong. I am sure that if if returns, I will be one of the first to hear about it.
Driving through the Campgrounds we find them mostly full, except a few spots in the tent camping area. I believe the talk of rain has put most of the campers on edge. I know that it is not fun to pack up wet tents and other stuff and then have to put them back up to dry later so they won't mildew. Over in the old ballfield area we find a small flock of Goldfinch.
Headed out toward the back side of the park, we pull into the Limestone Sinks Parking area. This is a special little walk that has a lot of excitement to it. Just about the only birds found in the area were American Crows. Headed back toward Norene, we stop at the junction of Sue Warren Trail to give it a listen. Here we find more Chipping Sparrows along with a Tufted Titmouse.
Stopping at the Decidious woods we pause to hear the singing of a Pileated Woodpecker. It isn't hammering, but it sure is singing it's heart out. Another Tufted Titmouse is also here in the same area. In a few weeks, there will be several other birds flying up from South America, calling this spot of woods home.
Coming out in Norene, we find a plethora of Field Sparrows along side the road and also the "gurgilee" call of the Red-winged Blackbird. At home, I only have a few pair of the Red-wing Blackbird while Anthony's feeders are over run with them. That is most likely that Anthony lives closer to the creek than I do. These Black Birds live in a marshy area with Willow Trees and especially Cat Tails.
We head south down Cainsville Road, then take a left onto Jug Creek Road and then onto Beach Bottom Road. This is a good location for Eastern Bluebirds. Flying across the road in front of us is a pair of Brown Thrashers. Turning onto Clever Creek Road, next to the creek, we find a pair of Mallard Ducks down in the creek. Not too far away is A Great Blue Heron, wading in the shallow water.
At another spot in the road where two small streams join, I can hear the song of the Northern Waterthrush. This is a member of the Warbler Family and is always found near a stream. After a lot of meandering, Clever Creek Roads ends on the Statesville Road. We head back through H-2-0 city and then on towards Lebanon for our hamburger fix at the Snow White Drive In.
Last weeks wonderful picture of the Eastern Bluebird was taken by my good friend, Teresa Botts as it was staking it's claim to the Tennessee Orange Bluebird box built by our good friend Glen Johnson. The caption underneath the photo inadvertainly left out the credit for Teresa's photo.
I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org