Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spring Migration Has Begun

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White-eyed Vireo

What a beautiful weekend we had, birds singing, flowers starting to bloom. Kind of makes you want to get outside and get a little dirt underneath your fingernails. I have a climbing rose to plant, right where it might hide my Direct TV satellite receiver. Those things can almost be an eyesore. They might even make a good wok to cook on, if you can get them clean enough.

Leaving Peking in our dust, Anthony Gray and myself head south on Hartmann Drive, hoping to see the large flock of Wild Turkey that hangs out next to the Lebanon High School. Nothing stirring there but a slight breeze.

Turning right onto the Old Murfreesboro Road, we head back east on Hobbs Lane to check out the small stream that runs beside the road. Usually this area is full of birds, singing their little hearts out, but today, nothing. There were a couple of long bearded Tom Turkey strutting in an open field away from the road. Anthony jumps out and dives in the back seat, looking for his cedar turkey call. With a little luck he has it in hand and starts making the call. The pair of gobblers look his direction and then keep going where they were headed in the first place.

Traffic is a real booger today, waiting to cross over highway 231 to get to Rocky Valley Road seems to take forever. Not seeing too much on this road either, except more Wild Turkeys. We stop by each little stream, hoping for some bird action, but just the usual stuff. Maybe it will be better out to the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

Checking out the campground, makes me wish that I, myself was doing a little camping. Excited youngsters were everywhere, riding their bikes, or just walking about. I didn't see anyone with their head buried in some portable computer game. It seemed like the old days to me.

Headed east on Cedar Forest Road, we stop where the Sue Warren Trail meets the road. The Map still shows it continuing on toward the north, but a steel roadblock, firmly imbedded in concrete, should keep off roaders at bay, so it seems. Somehow, someone came from somewhere they shouldn't have been and messed the fire out of their front end. Broken car parts were strewn all over the place and they probably loosened a few teeth when their car came to a sudden stop.

I am glad that we stopped there as a few early migrants were singing on the north side. White-eyed Vireos were already here, maybe a couple weeks ahead of schedule. Also singing back in a cedar glade was a Prairie Warbler. His song is a buzzing trill that goes up the scale.

On up past the old bridge we come to a deciduous section of the forest. The elevation here is maybe 50 feet higher than in the cedar glade area. We listened as a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers talked back and forth with each other from across the road. We also heard a Warbling Vireo, maybe a couple of weeks early too. By the next couple of weeks, we will hear Red-eyed Vireos here in this same spot. They have been in this area as long as I can remember.

Coming out in Norene, we cross over Cainsville Road to get on to Sherrilltown Road. We find slim pickings there too. Within the next two weeks, things will get much better. Traveling through Watertown, we resume the same path as last week. Other birds seen in the area were, Tufted Titmouse, they were everywhere, Barn Swallows, Carolina Wrens, and Carolina Chickadees.

Looking out my kitchen window this past Sunday morning, old friends have returned to their old nesting box. My Tree Swallows have returned and now a couple of them are fighting to see who gets the box. I have saved up feathers for them to use with their nest. Welcome Back.

I must apologize to my good friend, Teresa Botts, yes that begins with a capitol "B". Last week her beautiful bird pictures had the captions, "photo courtesy of Teresa Potts. Sorry Teresa, looks like you are getting double mention in my article.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking 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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