Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting Hot

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Red Winged Blackbird

It has been a few weeks since I have sat behind my keyboard with nothing to write about. Memorial Day came and went with plenty excitement at the campground. I have already told everyone about that so I will pick up on some new news.

Anthony Gray picked me up ay 8am this past Saturday and we headed out Bluebird Road to the east. I am afraid that the road didn't have much Eastern Bluebird action for the day. Just about everywhere you looked people had already cut their field for baling. This gave our two varities of Vultures an upper hand when it comes to feeding. Many small animals can't get out of the way of a mowers blade in time.

Flying over these mowed fields, we spotted a plethora of Barn Swallows catching their breakfast. These birds are a flying insects' worst nightmare. One big bug on the meal list is the crane fly. This fly looks similiar to a granddaddy long legs, but with wings.

A group of thistle plants dot the roadside next to an old rock fence close to Spring Creek. Feeding on these thistle were a large flock of American Goldfinch. I don't see how in the world they can land on these plants without sticking its feet. I can't even try to grab one without getting stuck.

Meadowlarks were also in profusion around these mowed fields. They make their nest down under the grass, so if a field is mowed before the babies begin to fly, it could be a disaster.

As Bluebird Road crosses underneath Interstate 40, we head east once again until we come to Jennings Fork Creek. Here we spot a family of Killdeers running around the mossy rocks. Unlike other nesting birds where the babies are tied down to the nest for 14 days, as soon as a baby Killdeer hatches, it is able to run around and be able to hide itself in the grass.

Bluebird Road stops and at a right turn, we continue onto South Commerce Road in the direction of Watertown. The main thing we find around here are Eastern Bluebirds. There must not be a housing shortage for them. We stop off at Knee Road where we find a family of Eastern Phoebes flying out from under the bridge over Round Lick Creek. They will have a mud nest mixed with moss stuck to the underside where they raise their nestlings. Other Birds found there are Northern Cardinals and American Goldfinch.

Traveling through Watertown, we take a left onto Holmes Gap Road. Leaving civilization behind we hit areas of deep woods. Flying across the road we had a Brown Thrasher showing off its brown feathers. Not too far away a Bluejay comes swooping in. Off in the distance we hear the call of a Yellow Breasted Chat, our largest Warbler member. By small branches and hillsides we can hear a chorus of Northern Cardinals singing in the treetops.

As we approach a small stream side we hear the song, "Gurligee" coming from a Red-wing Blackbird. They build their nest in the middle of a cattail patch near swampy areas. Coming out of a shady spot we hear the call of the Indigo Bunting. This has to be the king of all of the blue colored birds here in America. Other birds found along Holmes Gap Road are the Tufted Titmouse and closer to the end, a Red-headed Woodpecker. The road finally takes us out into the city of Alexandria.

We make our way back on Highway 96 through Cottage Homes, Prosperity, and a right on the Statesville Road. We backtrack through Watertown and head toward Lebanon on Highway 70. A right turn on Shop Springs Road brings us to Popular Hill Road and then back to 70. Time for our hamburger fix at the Snow White Drive In.

Anthony and I had planned to shoot our weekly video at the Farmers Market, but after we had set up, the camera said, the battery was dead. Maybe Next week.

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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