Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Here Comes Winter

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Belted Kingfisher

I was hoping that I might escape the misery of getting sick this new year, but the dreaded creeping crud is upon me. I had to go and visit Dr. Gary Gallant for the cure to my ailment. It seems that I have bronchitis with a very aggravating cough to go along with it. Maybe by this next weekend, I'll be fit as a fiddle.

Anthony Gray picked me up just a little after eight on Saturday morning. We headed toward Cedars of Lebanon State Park, hoping to locate the albino Tufted Titmouse. Pulling into the park office, I spoke to Diane Oliver about the whereabouts of the special bird. She had the remedy in a plastic tub full of bird seed. It didn't take more than one scoop of birdseed tossed out front to call them in. The white one really stands out in a crowd, while it's parents and siblings are a dull gray color. I really hope this bird can survive the winter months.

I sit outside on a bench with my trusty new video camera at the ready and it doesn't take more than two minutes for it to show up. I hit the record button and off I go. With the bird right in front of me, the camera starts telling me that the battery needs charging. If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

Driving through the park we find the campground looking almost like a ghost town. Too cold for my blood without a roaring fire going. It looks like construction for the new playground and shelter are starting to pick up speed. We also notice most of the older shelters are sporting new metal roofs. I am tickled that Wayne (Buddy) Ingram, is getting so much done for the park that should have been done years ago.

Driving east on Norene Road we head through mixed Oaks and Hickory trees where a plethora of Woodpeckers live through out the year. We find Red-bellied Woodpeckers talking back and forth in the tree tops. The much larger Pileated Woodpecker also lives in these wood and one tree sure looks like they have been working it over. In a rotten stump, you can see where they have been after grubs.

Farther down the road, we take a right onto Blue Well Road. This area was hit by a tornado back in the mid 1990's and you can still see areas where the twister did a lot of damage to the trees. Flying up from the road we see several Field Sparrows as we drive by.

Crossing over Cainsville Road, we head toward Watertown on Shirreltown Road. This is a long and winding road that passes many old farms and wooded hills. We find Eastern Bluebirds all along the roads where homes are located. This is one species of birds that have benefited greatly by people moving out in rural areas and placing out nesting boxes for them.

We headed through the square and over to Holmes Gap Road, then on to Commerce Church Road. Where this road passes over the Round Lick Creek, we find a Great Blue Heron over to the left side. It takes off, not trusting us, to fly a little farther down the creek.

Sitting on a utility wire, over looking the creek, we find a male Belted Kingfisher. He seems to cuss us out with his chattering voice and finally moves to the other side of the road. More Bluebirds fly up from small patches of weeds, where they most likely are eating some type of wild seed from the weeds.

It is getting close to time for our 11 0'clock feeding. First of all, we stop by the house so I can charge up the battery on the video camera. Next week, it will be ready for what ever we want to shoot. Maybe even return out to Cedar Forest and get some video of the white Tufted Titmouse.

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, Diane Oliver, Ray Pope, Wayne Ingram
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