Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

Back Around The Lake

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Male Mallard Drake

What a difference a week can make, especially after coming off a nine inch snow. Temperatures have gone from single digits on up to the upper 60's. I will take this anytime.

Anthony Gray came by and picked me up around eight on Saturday morning. We decided to head west on Coles Ferry Pike. First stop was at the Bartons Creek boat ramp.There was not a whole lot stiring from the birds. This is one of the areas that was suposed to have Bald Eagles. None here today. It looks like if I am going to write about eagles, it will have to be fiction.

Driving on out to the end Of Coles Ferry Pike, which ends at the Cumberland River, we could see several Canada Geese sitting in a row on the far side of the river. One lonely looking Mallard drake floated close to the geese. Usually during the warmer months, you will find all kinds of Swallows feeding on the insect population flying over the water.

Also around the Gallatin Steam Plant was a huge mess of Black Vultures. Many were just sitting on transmission towers, others in trees. With the morning warming up, several were already catching thermals and climbing higher into the blue sky. Leaving the area, we head west once again.

We went out to Tyrees Access where we found a small flotilla of American Coot. These duck like birds are here in great numbers during the winter months. On the road back from the lake, we spot a family of Eastern Bluebirds. I am not sure, who owns this piece of propery, but I would love to place out a couple of Bluebird houses there. I believe this field is also owned by the person up on the hill where an electronic gate stands sentinel on the driveway there.

Looking across the Spencer Creek part of Old Hickory Lake, we discover another boat ramp. We have been here hundreds of times, but have never spotted this other boat ramp. How to get there was the next question. Thanks to modern technology, it was easy. On Anthony's cell phone there is a map system where we could locate just about any place.

Driving south on 109, we take a right turn on Burton Road and follow it down to River View Road. This runs into Benders Ferry Road. Just above the road we find Baird Drive, which runs down to the lake. This area gives us a different perspective on the Spencer Creek embayment. Out in this huge expance of the lake, we find Pied-billed Grebe and Common Loons.

An old Locust tree at the boat ramp has several different Woodpecker holes in it, but no resident Woodpecker is seen or heard. Looking up in the tree top, we find a couple of European starlings staking out the tree.I have witnessed starlings patiently watching Red-bellied Woodpeckers drilling out their nesting hole, and then take over the nest. I hate starlings.

Driving south on Benders Ferry Road, we soon come to the Lone Branch Recreation Area. Only one boat is here and it is loading up as we drive through. In a couple of month the island, due south of here will be full of Double-crested Cormorants, fighting for one of the many nest in the trees.

Coming out on Highway 70, we head east to Beckwith Road and take it to Posey Hill Road. Here we find several Eastern Bluebird families up and down the road. We hit Central Pike and just north of Gladeville we go to Franklin Road.

As we come down the hill next to Curly Putman's property, we see a small flock of white birds with black color on their wings. By process of elimination, we believe that they are a flock of White Pelicans. There is a huge pond on the property and it seemed that they took off from there. We tried to locate the birds, but they disappeared from our sight..

I remembered coming here in the mid 70's, hoping to catch a glimpz of Paul McCartney. I did get to see him and took several good photos of which I still have to this day.

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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