Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

North of the Border

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White-crowned Sparrow

Here comes that dreaded 4 letter word again. Snow! My buttercups are starting to protrude from the cold, cold ground and soon will put on a beautiful blanket of colors. I will then find out if all my hard work, scratched knuckles, and sore knees have paid off. You really can't expect something nice, if you don't put some hard work into it first.

Diana Bright and me took our own little bird trip because Anthony had things to do on his honey do list. We headed out the Old Rome Pike and take a left on Lovers Lane. I have heard of several places called Lovers Lane, but this one is the official one on the map.

Mostly Common Grackles are out this way and the lousy old starlings are everywhere. If everyone in Wilson County picked up a 12 gauge shotgun and fired into a flock of starlings, we would still have too many here. You are probably tired of listening to me rant and rave about the starlings so I will get back to my story.

Turning right onto the Old Hartsville Pike, we spot a Red-tailed Hawk, sitting on a telephone wire scanning an open field for some movement.. Hawks, and Eagles have some of the best eyesight in the bird world. Not too far away we find an American Kestral hovering, still looking for his breakfast. Hope he finds a good juicy vole or meadow mouse.

Crossing over the Cumberland River in Trousdale County, we drive down to a boat ramp on Cemetery Lane. We are still hoping to find a Bald Eagle, or even an Osprey. The current is running a bit stiff and we watch as several large logs float by. Only a couple of Ring-billed Gulls disturb the erie silence here.

Driving through Hartsville, we head west and get back on Highway 141 and at the small community of Willard, we head west again on Honeysuckle Road. We find Eastern Bluebirds here along with a plethora of Field Sparrows. Several nice ponds dot the area and the most of them are still covered in ice. This road finally comes out on Highway 231 where we go left and head back to Lebanon.

Checking out the sign on part of the wildlife area, it says that it will be closed through the month of February. It didn't do any good to check out the Blowed out bridge, as it is also closed. We hit Philadelphia Road and turned left on Beasley's Bend Road and drove all of the way to where it ends. Really, after passing Averitts Ferry Road, it was named the 8th District Road, and a part of Trousdale County. We found several more Red-tailed Hawks on this trip then ever before.

Instead of having my Peking Chinese fix, I was wanting a cheeseburger instead. While pulling into the lot at the Burger King on the square, my son called and said that they were at the Sunrise Diner up on the bypass. We joined them there and I still got to have my cheeseburger and fries.

In my backyard bird action, there are still several of my northern species scratching underneath my feeders. The White-crowned Sparrow was sitting on an old piece of cornbread and seemed as if he was really enjoying it. I grabbed the wrong package of cornmeal, the plain kind instead of the self rising kind.

Not too far away on the ground was a White-throated sparrow, kicking up a fuss, enjoying the mixed seed that I scatter on the ground. I still have my eye open, hoping to get some good pictures of a Fox Sparrow, but haven't seen them since last winter.

Several of my readers, Jacky Preston included have been asking when the Goldfinch would return. Mine have never left, but now they have a much duller appearance, almost a greenish-khaki color. I am placing a picture of one of my Goldfinch in this weeks article.

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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Diana Bright, Ray Pope
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