If there was any witches and goblins flying around my neighborhood on Halloween, they probably were soaking wet. This was the first time that I didn't get to hand out a single piece of candy. That doesn't mean that I will get to eat some, since I am diabetic. Instead, I took my neighbors to the north of me a full bag of goodies for their children.
After a couple weeks of not birding, Anthony Gray and me head out Coles Ferry Pike to visit with Buzz Crockett. Buzz stopped by my home the other day and invited us out to see what was flying about at his home. Bird feeders were everywhere. While we were there, a family of Carolina Chickadees were busy at the feeders. Being in the location of many trees, I asked Buzz if he had White-breasted Nuthatch there. He answered yes. I was also impressed with the amount of beautiful flowers and shrubs that would attract a multitude of butterflies. I really miss the Butterfly Lady, Melanie Kelley, since she moved to east Tennessee.
We are still looking for the elusive Bald Eagle that was reported at the Barton's Creek boat ramp. Several fishermen were looking for the catch of the day. Looking back toward the bridge, we found a Great Blue Heron wading the shallow waters hoping for lunch. Not a whole lot of other birds were stirring, except maybe a Bluejay.
We take a right turn on Pointe Barton Drive to get a look at more shoreline, still trying to find a Bald Eagle. Several residents line the shore trying to catch some fish.
Headed on out Academy Road we cross over Highway 109 to Woods Ferry Road. From there, a left will place us on Tyree Access Road, which runs down to the lake. As soon as the water comes into view, we spot a Pied -bill Grebe swimming out from the slew on the right. Out over the water, only a single Ring-billed Gull is to be seen. Several pair of Grebes take off and dive under the water as a fast bass boat comes barreling down Spencer Creek. These specially adapted birds have lobed feet which helps with their diving ability to aid in the catching of fish. A couple of weeks ago, we spotted an Osprey fishing in the area.
Headed back out to 109, we head south and turn into Burton Road. Nothing going on at the boat ramp, except a huge flock of Black Vultures. We didn't see anything dead and there was no foul odor in the area, but they can smell decaying gases, just a few parts in a million. We decide to check out the Point View Circle area, still hoping for the Eagle. It seems like everybody but us can spot one.
Stopping on the small bridge on Burton Road, we saw several Great Egrets wading in the shallow water. Between me and the Egrets, I found something different. Even though the light was not favorable, I did manage to identify it as a Black-crowned Night Heron. Sometimes there will be one in the water behind the Don Fox Park. I've had several people send me a picture of it, wanting me to let them know what they were looking at.
Looking out my kitchen window this past Thursday morning, there was a Dark-eyed Junco feeding underneath my feeders. This species is also known as the "Snow Bird," not to be confused with that big thingy that shows up on channel 4 weather. This is the earliest that I have found them here.
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, email@example.com