Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

Finally, Cold Weather Is Here

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Pied Bill Grebe

Happy New Year! I certainly hope that each of you will have a great year. I do know that the weather is where it should be. It is winter and it now feels like it.

It was a cold 30 degrees outside when Anthony Gray picked me up for our Saturday morning excursion into the bird world. With only so much territory within Wilson County it is inevitable that we will go over and over the same areas in a given time. Most of my articles will be about some of the same birds week after week. I try very hard to locate some of the rare birds, but with nature, it a hit and miss thing.

Stopping at the Barton's Creek boat ramp, it seemed like we were the only thing stirring. One lonely Great Blue Heron stood sentinel in shallow water close to Coles Ferry Pike. Up in the treetops small birds flitted about, but we couldn't get them to stay still long enough to identify them.

Driving on down to the end of Academy Road, we cross over Highway 109 onto Westview Drive and Northview Circle. These areas have a lot of shore line where we still keep an eye out for Bald Eagles. I don't know why they call it a circle, when it ends in a cul de sac.

Headed north on Woods Ferry Road, we take a left on Tyree Access and go west to where it runs into the lake. Several birds are swimming about in the middle of the lake. We find Pied Bill Grebes just about everywhere we go on this day. They are a diving bird and catch their food under the surface. Other names for this species are, American Dabchick, Carolina Grebe, Devil Diver and Hell Diver, please pardon my French on that last name.

Back on Woods Ferry Road, we head north. Several small birds were seen in this area. Eastern Bluebirds were everywhere, in huge numbers. Bluebirds are a close knit family and the young will help feed some of their younger siblings. Other small birds in the area include the Field Sparrow. With all of the warmer weather lasting so long, seed bearing plants have flourished this fall.

We decided to drive on over to the Cherokee Steak House, located right on the Cumberland River. We are in hopes of feeding a few of the ducks that call this place home, but the only thing in the area is a couple of Pied Bill Grebes. Anyway, Anthony is still keeping an eye out for his old friend, the mutant goose looking bird. But today, Anthony is lucky, no mutant goose in sight.

Headed back south, we take a right turn onto Burton Road. A quick look at the Davis Corner Boat ramp shows a few brave souls out on the cold lake. I believe most of these to be duck hunters. Out on the lake here, we find more Pied Bill Grebe.

Driving over the slew on Burton Road we find to the south, maybe two Great Blue Herons. I find a few ducks to the right, but find them to be decoys next to a duck blind. Just out of gun range is a small raft of Mallards milling about in the shallows. Even closer to the blind we find several American Coots. I don't believe that hunters shoot this species. Also in the slew we find several pairs of, you guessed it, Pied Bill Grebes.

Time for Peking and this time we tell May that all we want is hot and sour soup, the large bowls. It is so good and warms us up from the inside.

Stopping by the Don Fox Park, we decide to shoot our weekly video there with the Town Creek behind us for a beautiful backdrop. Watch this on our, the Wilson Post in Motion. We try to shoot in a different location each week for this. Stay Posted.

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,

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Our Feathered Friends
Anthony Gray, Ray Pope
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