I got up pretty early Friday morning to do a little birding with two of my favorite friends. Karen Franklin along with her daughter Anna, picked me up just after seven in the morning where we headed out to the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. My old campsite was occupied so we parked in the next one available.
Anna's birthday was in the middle of June and one of her presents I had purchased was a pair of Bushnell 7X35 insta-focus binoculars. Unbeknownst to me, was that the binoculars did not survive the trip from where they were made to my doorstep. There was disappointment on both sides because of this. Anna had a small pair of plastic ones that she planned to give to her younger brother Nick since she was getting a real pair. I got in touch with the Bushnell Company, and hope that they will help me to replace them, especially because they should.
All was deadly quiet until we came around the back side of the old campground number three, where we finally heard the call of a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers. One method of calling some of the different species of birds requires a fussing sound that I call shushing. All it takes is for one bird to make a scolding sound to garner the attention of every bird within ear shot. Right after I made my little fuss, here came a family of Carolina Chickadees along with a small family of Tuffted Titmouse, or would it be, Titmice. (Scratching my head), I'm not sure about the plural aspect of it.
We walked over to the campground behind the camper check-in building and found a Common Flicker, a member of the Woodpecker family, sitting on a high perch on a cedar tree. He was only calling the first note of his song and that was throwing my ears into confusion. On around the next bend in the road, Karen found a White-breasted Nuthatch making his way down the trunk of a tree. Most of the tree tops were very active with the arrival of several different species of returning warblers. Without proper sunlight, it was hard to see them plainly enough to make a positive identification. We did get a glimpse of an old friend, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, which we can find here throughout the winter months. Other birds sighted or heard was a Red-shouldered Hawk and an Eastern Phoebe.
We drove out to the "Blown out bridge" on Dickerson Chapel Road on Old Hickory Lake, hoping to spot a few Wading birds. As soon as we got out of the van we spotted a Great Egret, very similar to a Great Blue Heron, but with all white feathers. The fog was so thick that it required the usage of a sharp knife to cut through it. It was amazing to watch a pair of Double-crested Cormorants fly over where one landed on the water and the wind from his wing swirled the fog up and away. It really amazes me how some people can just throw their trash on the ground, especially when there is a trash can about twenty feet away. Lazy, or just don't care.
Our last stop before going to have breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, was out where the old Ramsey's boat dock was located. The only birds there, was a couple of Great Blue Herons sharing the solitude of the cove with a few fishermen and one fisherwoman trying, to maybe drown a few worms. All in all, it was a great day spent with great friends doing what we enjoy doing in the little time we had together.
Saturday, Anthony Gray will pick me up for a little "Peking" action and then a trip out past Norene and then over to Commerce road and points east from there. I will save that for another article, maybe next week.
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 you can e-mail me at, firstname.lastname@example.org