Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Is It Spring Yet?

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Song Sparrow

Here is another weather break where it is so warm one day and cold the next. As I write this, it is a warm 69 degrees outside and by tonight it will be a cold 33 degrees. That's what they say about the weather here in Tennessee, if you don't like it, wait about 30 minutes and it will change.

Anthony Gray was knocking at my door at eight this past Saturday morning, right on time. We head south down Highway 231 and take a short cut over to the Old Murfreesboro Road and catch a right onto South Hartman Drive.

We drive out to the three story doctors building where I had been for physical therapy on Friday. As I left the building, getting into my car, I found a couple of White-crowned Sparrows, feeding beneath the holly shrubs there. We looked for them, but couldn't find any trace of them.

We backtrack to the Old Murfreesboro Road and head south down the curvey road. We find hundreds of American Robins everwhere we go today. Some people want to see the first Robin of spring and in reality, some of them have never left. We get a certain influx from the Robins that live in the northern states and it will be more truth concerning the first Robin of spring for them as the calender says March the 20th.

We turn left onto Hobbs Lane and find a plethora of Field Sparrows. They are making a chipping sound and at this time of the year they are not singing. As we head on down the road, we find a pair of Northern Flickers flying overhead. We have the yellow variety here in the south and the Northern Flicker, ( Yellowhammer) is Alabama's State Bird. During the Civil War, several of the fighting men from Alabama were known as Yellowhammers.

Crossing over Highway 231 and then onto Rocky Valley Road, we find even more Robins, mixed in with several American Crows. Speaking about Crows, Anthony must have been listening to several reruns of Hee Haw, as he told a corny joke just like you might hear from one of their episodes. It goes as follows, "why don't you ever see a Crow that has been hit by an auto? Because there is one that always sits on a high limb and warns the others, screaming, car car car." He is worse than Junior Samples.

Off to the right we find several Red-winged Blackbirds out close to a large pond. These birds will always nest in the vicinity of water, especially in the midst of cattails.There are more Field Sparrows here along with one Song Sparrow that is singing it's song. I believe this warmer weather has gotton the Songster warming up for breeding season.

This road has some of the best territory for Eastern Bluebirds and we do find several Bluebird boxes out in the front yards of several homes along the road. We stop at several of the culverts where an ample supply of water runs beneath the road and we hear the "cherwink" call of the Rufous-sided Towhee. This bird lives around thickets and scrubby areas. We stop next to a large pond and find a Chipping Sparrow singing there.

Our next stop is at the park office of the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Several of the trees out next to the pull in have been cut down. According to Diane Oliver, it is so some of the big campers will have room to safely park while they go in to register. Otherwise, they would stop out in the road and cars entering the park had to go around them in a blind spot in the road.

We would head toward Norene where we heard another Towhee. Coming out Cainsville Road, we headed back toward Lebanon, where we found a small gaggle of Canada Geese flying overhead. As the road makes a few bends, the Geese caught up to us and Anthony clocked them at 45 miles per hour. The speed limit there was 50 so they were at a safe speed.

We turn right onto Beech Log Road where we find more Red-wing Blackbirds and several families of Eastern Bluebirds.Fast forward through Watertown and we come to Holmes Gap Road. Here we find more Flickers along with a pair of Brown Thrashers. A small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos are feeding beneath an Elm tree. Other birds there were Bluejays, American Kestrals and one Great Blue Heron, knee deep in a small stream.

Time to head back toward Lebanon and a great hamburger at the Snow White Drive in. We decide to drive out to the old Cedar Grove Cemetery to film our weekly video that is on Facebook. Listen in and you can hear Junior Gray tell his joke right out of Kornfield County.

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, Diane Oliver, Ray Pope
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