Today is Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dogwood Winter Was Here

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Rufous-sided Towhee

After a chilly start of 41 degrees, the day warmed up nicely to 71 degrees later in the afternoon. With the Dogwood Tree in full bloom, it must be what is called Dogwood Winter. This also means that the stripe fish will be running up the creeks to spawn.

Anthony Gray came dragging in two minutes late for our morning excursion. We headed straight to the Cedars of Lebanon State Park to see what was lurking about there. We made a quick stop at the park office to see Glenda Oakley to see what was going on. Still no sign of Tut the White Titmouse.

Over in front of the nature center, we paused to listen to the birds singing up in the tree tops. There were several bunches of American Robins feeding on the ground there. Up in the trees, we heard the call of the Tufted Titmouse. They make the sound, "Peter peter peter' and sometimes when they are fussing, well that is another song all together.

Bluejays are thick in the campground as bugs on a bumper during the summer months. I have watched their antics over and over. I am sure they don't think it is stealing, but they will rob a person blind if they leave food out unattended on the picnic table. With their size, they can fly off with a whole slice of bread.

Over by the restroom next to where the old ball field was, we could hear the call of the Rufous-sided Towhee. This area is full of small bushes, and a perfect territory for the Towhee.

As we head east toward Norene, we stop out in the deciduous woods where we hear the call of the Pileated Woodpecker. He makes his call and then he drums, over and over. Perhaps he is trying to get the attention of a pretty female. Down a little further on the road we have a pair of Brown Thrashers fly across the road in front of us. On up the road a piece a small flock of American Goldfinch are singing and feeding on something. Three Chipping Sparrows are found above them.

Taking a right on Cainsville Road at Norene, we head south. Up ahead, we find a slight detour. It seems that a Turkey Vulture is fighting with four Black Vultures over ownership of last nights flattened possum. There is almost a tug of war brewing between these special undertakers of the bird world.

Turning onto Jug Creek Road, we stop next to Jug Creek to see what is singing there. We hear the call of a Tufted Titmouse along with Eastern Bluebirds. This part of the county is prime Bluebird Territory. After a few miles, this turns into Rocky Branch Road. Singing next to a small branch are Chipping Sparrows and a plethora of Field Sparrows. American Crows are everywhere we look, in the fields or just flying overhead.

Another of our Swallow species has finally arrived from way down south. This is our first sighting of Barn Swallows this year. They are one species that has actually benefited with the arrival of modern man, another is the Chimney Swift. As we were shooting our weekly video in my back yard, we had a pair of Tree Swallows buzzing us overhead.

At one point in the road, we had flushed a hen Turkey up next to the car and it flew alongside Anthony's Head for several seconds before getting the heck out of Dodge. A quick right turn would have put it inside the car. We came out by Three Forks Market and crossed over Highway 70 onto the Watertown square.

We ran out East Main Street and caught a left onto Holmes Gap Road. Most of what we found out that way was Northern Cardinals. On around to Commerce Church road we found more Barn Swallows flying out from the bridge over Round Lick Creek. Over to the side we hear the familiar "Gurgilee" call of the Red-winged Blackbird.

On South Commerce Road, just beyond I 40, in one of our favorite little creeks, a Louisana Waterthrush was singing. At the church where Anthony was married, we found several Purple Martins on the house there. Headed home we found Eastern Meadowlarks and more Field Sparrows.

After dinner at the Snow White Drive In, we headed back to my house so we could shoot our weekly Video on the things we saw this morning. It took two takes to get things done right. The first take might come in handy in case that we make a "Blooper Video."

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, Glenda Oakley, Ray Pope
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