Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How Highs The Water Mama

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Tree Swallow

With all of this rain here lately, some of our local creeks and rivers are starting to overflow their banks. We passed by the Don Fox Park Saturday morning and found that the western and eastern parts were under about two feet of water. Anthony Gray and I decided to shoot our weekly video over at the Jimmy Floyd Center where Sinking Creek was out of its banks.

We headed out towards the Hermitage area, hoping to see a few of our feathered friends, but the rain was steady and pouring like buckets. Most of what we found was starlings and both species of Vultures, Black and Turkeys. Most of the smaller birds were out of sight, probably from out of fear that they would be beat to death by the shear volume of the rain.

We decided to head west because I had purchased a bicycle from the Target store at Jackson Downs this past Friday and Anthony said that he would pick it up for me in his pickup truck. This made an excellent idea, except for the heavy rains that were falling intermittently all day long. As soon as we got to the store the bottom fell out.

Headed back toward Lebanon, we headed down Central Pike hoping for a few bird sightings. The main bird that we saw were European starlings wading in rain soaked yards, probing with their bills for some morsel to eat. It would not have hurt my feelings if they never found another bite. I despise this species that much.

We turn onto Adams Lane and take that all the way onto South Mt. Juliet Road and then down to Providence Parkway which soon turns onto South Rutland Road. There is a rather nice man made lake at the Del Webb Area. This lake is usually full of ducks and other birds, but not today. We found one poor, half drowned Canada Goose, probably wishing for sunshine and a pair of Mallard Ducks.

Driving back east on I-40, we turn off at the South Hartmann Road and make a quick stop at Anthony's house so he can pick up his phone. I waited in the truck, enjoying the antics of the birds at his feeders. His two shepherd hooks has slinkys on them to keep the squirrel action down to a minimum. He says that they work, but this day, there were no squirrels around to prove it.

There were a small family of House Sparrows eating out of the mixed seed feeders. I hope these do not try to take over his birdhouses. A Carolina Chickadee is snatching black oil sunflower seeds from one of the steel feeders that I gave him a couple of years ago. In another feeder, a House Finch is seen plucking away at the sunflower seeds. On the ground, several Mourning Doves seem to be chasing each other.

We leave here and head to the Snow White Drive In where it is my time to buy dinner. Leaving there we make our way over to the Jimmy Floyd Center to shoot out weekly video for Our Feathered Friends. A large pool of water where the creek had overflowed is an exciting place to watch as Barn Swallows wheel and soar just above the surface of the water, catching flying insects on the wing. Every so often, a Tree Swallow will join the ranks of the Barn Swallows in the flooded field.

In my yard, there is a pair of Tree Swallows moving about. The other unused Bluebird box in the back yard seems to have nesting material recently placed in it with a few feathers put in for good measure. This, to me is a sign that Tree Swallows are starting to nest. I will keep you informed on this.

You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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