Here is another slightly chilly start to our morning travel, hopefully in the bird world. Birds seem to be at a standstill, just before Spring arrives with the breeding season at hand. In another month, the excitement should be in the air.
Anthony Gray was knocking at my door this past Saturday morning before I was ready to answer it. A few more winks would have been perfect for me. We headed east on the Old Rome Pike into the sunrise which had not warmed the air very much. Taking a left onto Spring Creek Road, we find several families of Eastern Bluebirds strung out on the entire route.
In my own backyard, a pair of Bluebirds have already staked out one of my boxes to raise their family. I really miss Roy Garr, especially during this time of the year. Most anybody that cared for Bluebirds would purchase mealworms from Roy at a very good price. Now you can find large bags of dried mealworms at most bird supply stores. Someone gave me a bag of these which I tried feeding. To me, it was a waste of money. I have looked them up on Amazon and have found several dealers that will ship live worms. I will give these a try.
We come out on the "new", Old Hartsville Pike where we find a sleepy Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a high limb sunning him self, or her self. Woe unto any jack rabbit that scurries accross where it is watching. We take a right onto Taylorsville and that will take us to Big Springs Road.There is much farm land here that used to belong to Harold and Sara Stanford.
In them old days we would look down by the creek and find a plethora of different shorebirds. Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs were in plentiful supply. I don't know who owns the property now, but I would love to get permission from them to let me check out the creek for shorebirds. This creek is partially fed by the "Big Spring" that gives the road it's name. I have never known this creek to dry up, even during some of the droughts we have had in the past.
Driving past the old Stanford place we find a small flock of Goldfinch feeding on the side of the road. I still run into friends that tell me that they don't see any Goldfinch and wonder where they have gone. I have plenty of them here at my house to go around and would gladly let you have some of mine. They are now colored, olive drab, but closer to spring, the males will be turning a bright familier yellow. Close by, we find more Eastern Bluebirds.
We take a left on Conatser Road and find a huge contingent of both Turkey and Black Vultures. The unused TVA transmission towers here form a huge roost for these beneficial birds of doom and dispair. Small groups of Fields Sparrows dot the twist and turns of the road ahead. We turn onto Walter Morris road that soon turns into a pig path when it goes over into Smith County. Us residents of Wilson County should be proud of our road system.
We hit Highway 70 and go through Rome and Rock City and turn left onto Highway 25. We run this all the way to where Highway 141 heads north in Hartsville. Turning left on Browning Branch Road, takes us to Highway 231. This is more prime Bluebird territory. To shorton my long winded story, we head back toward Lebanon and take a left on Gilmore Hill Road.
We stopped at the famous Blowed Out Bridge on South Dickerson Road. This boat launch area has been closed since the middle of November and just reopened this past Wesnesday. We were greeted by a Great Blue Heron off to the right of the slew. One lonely pair of Canada Geese took to the water when we pulled up. In the treetops were Carolina Chickadees, Field Sparrows, Tufted Titmouse and one stray Yellow-rumped Warbler. Before we left, we shot our weekly video from off of the bridge.
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