Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Looking Back to 2014

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Indigo Bunting

Well, it's refreshing to be starting a new year. I thought that I might think back to the year 2014 and some of the things that went on in my year. We had one of the coldest temperatures back in January where it dropped down to four degrees for about three days.

With no drinkable water for probably miles around, my birdbath with heater became one of the most visited place on the north side of Lebanon. One might think that it would be too cold for a bird to take a bath in, but protective oils produced by the birds help ward off freezing conditions.

Back in the 1970's to protect the local airport from collisions with the thousands of starlings that roosted there, a method was used to remove the insulating factor of the roosting birds. It was called turgital, some kind of a detergent compound that would strip the oils off the birds there and then the cold temps would kill off the starlings.

Back this past January, with the frigid weather, we, some of our senior citizens took an Eagle trip out to Reelfoot Lake. With the lake frozen over, I was afraid that we might not be able to find any Bald Eagles at all. Thanks to the duck hunters at the lake, a constant trip out to their blinds kept an open strip of water available for the Eagles to be able to catch their mainstay, fish.

The first day there, we counted a little over fifty Bald Eagles stretched out by the small area of broken up ice. I just wish that my camera could have captured the image of the distant birds, but they were too far away.

Waking up the next morning, we found maybe seventy-five Mallards that were keeping another broken up place on the lake, open, by swimming back and forth. Duck hunters were also responsible for that open patch of water.

I am not sure of the date, but Anthony Gray and myself went looking for five White Pelicans, that were reported somewhere in the Laguardo area, by some fishermen. The first place that we looked was at Spencer Creek near where the old Harold's Ark boat dock sat for many years. We did manage to find them in the shallow slew to the south of Davis Corner Road.

We also did quite a bit of birding out to the old Blown out bridge, located on South Dickerson Chapel Road. This is a very popular area with bank fishermen and even sometimes, party goers. You can tell the latter by all of the amounts of trash and beer bottles and cans left behind. A few of the birds spotted in that area were Double Crested Cormorants, Great Blue Herons, and snakes, Anthony loves it when we find them.

Cedars of Lebanon State Park is one of our most favorites, especially during spring and early summer. Here can be found a plethora of our migrants that are headed north to their breeding grounds. A few of these stay right here and you will find, Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, White-eyed Vireos, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and a very blue bird, called an Indigo Bunting. Watch out, just before the month of May starts for our Spring program on wildflowers and birds to be announced in The Wilson Post. I will be there early in the morning to do a bird program and later that evening around dark-thirty, a program on the Owls.

Please be patient with me as I am having to learn how Windows 8 works. My old computer that my oldest son, Ray (Rooster) Pope Jr. built has finally subcomed to old age. I have been using it since the 1990's.

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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