Today is Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cooler Weather Ahhhh

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Mourning Dove

Cooler weather is on the way, according to Bree Smith with News Channel Five. My Butterfly garden has been a great success, with more visitors than I could count. Soon, we will have a frost and then everything will be gone untill next spring

Anthony Gray picked me up this past Saturday morning and I said, lets go somewhere that we haven't been for a change. After picking up a "drank", we head north out over the Cumberland River on Highway 231. Turning east on Highway 25, we head towards Hartsville. A quick check for birds on Sulpher College Road is to no avail.Back on 25 we take a left on Highway 141 and head north.

The first road to our left is Sleepy Hollow Lane and I don't plan on going there after dark. Beware the headless horseman. The road runs next to the Little Goose Creek for several miles. At one stretch we find a Great Blue Heron, belly deep in the water, still as a statue, waiting for something to eat.

We keep going north through the small community of Willard and on up to the Gulf Transmission Company. Several years ago it was hit by a tornado and I could see the flames from the fire, as I was sitting on the back deck of my old house. This tornado did a lot of damage to Lafayette and rural Macon County.

Just before we reach Highway 52, we spot a flock of Wild Turkeys over in a mowed hay field. I do my version of "gobbling" as we drove by. Each of the Turkeys stopped eating and looked in my direction, as if to say, what the heck was that. Then they resumed feeding.

Driving through Lafayette, a single Turkey Vulture is trying to catch a thermal, that will give him lift. Where are all of the regular birds that we should be seeing? It could be that many of them are molting and do not want to take a chance on getting caught out where some Hawk might make a quick meal out of them.

Past the city, we take a right turn on Brown Road and then a then a left on Union Camp Road. This road has beautiful rolling hills to the right and on the left is level ground. This is prime Eastern Bluebird territory and I see lots of boxes scattered about. Also plentiful are well mantained Purple Martin Houses. I'm not sure what happened this year, but it seemed that the Martins showed up later than usual. I found Martins here in the middle of July, still hanging around their nesting boxes.

At the community of Gum Springs, we take a right on Sycamore Valley Road. At a slight pulloff, we stop to listen for some of our feathered friends. With my parabolic microphone I can hear a family of White-eyed Vireos singing from up the hillside. Also there, I start a fuss with a Tufted Titmouse. When I so my "shushing", it sounds like some bird fussing about something and draws other birds in to investigate. I could hear the sound of running water and after a close look, we find a spring coming out of the side of the hill. It was built up with rocks placed around the opening and was probably fixed up over 150 years ago.

We continue our southerly motion and our road turns into Big Creek Road, which runs into Little Creek Road. Here we are at a standstill where the state is building a couple of bridges over the creek. We run into Highway 80 at Pleasant Shade and take it over to Highway 85. Birds seen in this area are, Mourning Doves, Northern Mockingbird, Carolina Chickadee and a plethora of Field Sparrows.

Headed east on 85, we turn left onto route 263 which winds around to the overlook at Cordull Hull Lake. Here we hear a flock of American Crows fussing at something. It could be that they found some sleeping Owl, and wanted to evict him from his perch. Crows hate Owls and will torment them. Also singing at the overlook was one lonely Carolina Wren.

We drive through Turkey Creek to the Cordull Hull Dam and decide to film our weekly video there. You should be able to see the video on my Facebook page or Anthony's page. You can keep up with our adventures by watching them.

At Cordull Hull Dam, we found one solitary Double-crested Cormorant feeding below the dam. He must have gotten his belly full and flew over the dam to the lake. Also flying around and over the water were Rough-winged Swallows. We love to watch their acrobatics while they chase and catch flying insects for their lunch. Before we left, Anthony spotted a Pileated Woodpecker flying over.

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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Anthony Gray, Ray Pope
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