Today is Thursday, October 2, 2014

Anthony's Swan Song

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Anthony's Swan Song | Anthony Gray, Linda Gray, Woody Hunt, Rufous-sided Towhee, Carole Young

Rufous-sided Towhee and Male Cardinal



Maybe before too long, I will have all my "ducks" in a row and get back to my normal goings on. No Anthony Gray to run with this past Saturday. Instead, I was too busy at the Cumberland Baseball game keeping Woody Hunt out of trouble, also taking some action photos for Tommy Bryan, sports editor for, The Wilson Post. Never mind the Woody and the word, trouble in the same sentence, I just made that up. The baseball team is in Daytona Beach Florida for the spring break games, and the only thing missing is me and warmer weather. Good luck Dawgs!

Early this past Sunday Morning after getting all of my clocks set on Daylight Savings Time, the alarm came too soon for me. It seemed like my head hitting the pillow must have fast forwarded time to get up, with only one hit of the snooze button. It seems like I never get enough sleep. Out in my back yard, there was a new bird, that I had never found here. Oh, I have watched some of them maybe hundreds of times before, but not here at home.

Most of the time and according to the type of surroundings in which a bird is found all depends on the type of habitat the species looks for to call home. That was a mouthful. What I'm trying to say is that birds usually do not stray far from their desired habitat. This morning there was a Rufous-sided Towhee, underneath my bird feeder, going to town on the scattered mixed seed on the ground. This birds desired habitat, is usually in dense thickets, maybe over close to the Don Fox Park walking trail. There seems to be a lot of thinning out of a lot of the underbrush there and that might be why I had one today. Lack of suitable habitat will cause some species to move their business dealings to other locations. The same can be said about the Bob White Quail. That species thrived in certain rural locations that now have been cleared and houses built in their prime territories. My good friend, Carole Young, had some of the best Quail territory, where one could just sit and listen as the beautiful bird whistled it's name, "Bob-White."

I am not against progress, and was tickled to see a new bird in my yard, but where will it go to find a suitable area for rearing it's family. My yard is but a stopping point, where food is readily available, but does not have the sustenance that is needed to provide the correct habitat for Towhees. I only wish.

Also this morning as I refilled my feeders and tossed a few raw peanuts on the ground, my resident Blue Jay swooped in, with one eye on me in the window, and his other eye on his prize. I did manage to snap a photo before he took the peanut and flew off behind my shed. My Mockingbird rules the yard, except when this huge blue bomb comes streaking in.

Friday night after a wonderful dinner at Cherokee Steak house, where Anthony along with his wife, Linda Gray treated me to some of the best steaks I believe I have ever eaten, we saw the huge mutant swan like nemesis of Anthony's parading around the parking lot with several ducks in tow, after dark. Anthony brought out a large piece of bread to feed the ducks. While his attention was on keeping his distance from his friend, I sneaked up behind him, grabbed the back of his leg and hollered. I should have had my camera with me again. Anthony shouted and jerked his leg up about as high as he was tall. He thought the monster had him again. Funny!

We stopped by our friend Sharon Rosser's home later that night and was greeted by, not an owl, but a Flying Squirrel eating black oil sunflower seed. The nocturnal acrobat sped up the tree and glided over to a large oak tree about thirty feet away, all within the beam of Anthony's flashlight. That was truly a first for me.

Thanks to Valerie and Ron Fleitz of Mt. Juliet for your kind letter. It's people like you that makes me want to continue my stories, and to try and educate others on my love for our feathered friends.

Make sure you tune into the Coleman and Company radio program this Thursday morning at 7:30am at WANT-fm, at 98.9 or WCOR-am-1490, where Coleman Walker and me will be talking about Birds. I am really looking forward to this.

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, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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Our Feathered Friends
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Anthony Gray, Carole Young, Linda Gray, Rufous-sided Towhee, Woody Hunt
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