Today is Saturday, August 30, 2014

They're Here

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They're Here | Anthony Gray, Linda Gray, Ali Hoffman, Madi Hoffman, Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow



I was enjoying  my Friday at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center and thought about the warm spring day that was unfolding right outside the door. After soaking up a bit of vitamin "D", I heard the singing of an old friend that had just returned from down South America way. Purple Martins were singing their hearts out and landing on a Martin house across the street, next to the Coles Ferry Elementary School.

After a few minutes, I walked over to get a better look at the birdhouse. What a disappointment! Every apartment was crammed full where Starlings had already started nest building. This is the very reason that I preach the sermon, "If you place a Martin house up, you should be able to take care of it." The two Martin houses located at the Don Fox Park are not in good locations and are full of House Sparrows. These invasive species of birds need no help when it comes to nest building. Everyone that I have ever talked to are so thrilled to have a pair of nesting Bluebirds on their property. Does anyone else understand the fact that House Sparrows are mortal enemies of our precious Eastern Bluebirds. Please don't help out the unwanted trash birds.

Anthony Gray stopped by to pick me up for our taste of China. This time would be different, in that his wife Linda Gray and their two granddaughters would join us for lunch at Peking. Madi Hoffman, the younger of the pair will be 8 in April. Ali Hoffman, age 10 seemed right at home there and worked her way through an order of Beef Lo Mein, quicker than I could have. A delicious meal always seems to taste better when you have great company to go along with it.

A good drive out through Norene would make it a pleasant start to what we had anticipated to be a warm day of birding. Turning left onto Sherrilltown Road would place us out deep enough into the boonies, where we should see something of value. Usually anywhere you drive out in Wilson County, there is always one constant in the equation. Plenty of limestone. Where the old fields have been cleared of the misshapen rocks, there will be these long old fences constructed of rocks. Some of these people in the past had a knack for building them without the use of mortar and these fences have stood the test of time.

There was a plethora of small birds, hanging around the roadside, just enough to annoy Anthony's ability to stop the car in time to see what they may have been. We would especially try to stop at some of the small branches that snaked their way along one side of the road, and then dipped into a culvert to reappear on the other side. Many of my older readers will understand that a branch is not what some of the younger people probably think it is, like a tree limb. Maybe we could just call it a baby creek.

On the southeast of Watertown we headed out Holmes Gap Road. More small birds seemed to greet us as we headed a bit further out from H2o ville. This is one trip I will be looking forward to repeating as spring gets on toward summer. We passed a family of Pileated Woodpeckers making quick work of some old dead trees bordering a nice pasture setting. The more we drove, the more soil there seemed to be and one could tell that spring had actually put in an appearance with all the daffodils blooming in profusion. White-throated Sparrows, along with Dark-eyed Junco seemed to be the preferred bird in the area. Not hardly a mile away from the Pileateds we were treated to a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers playing around in an old tree that was full of holes.

Early last Friday morning as I was getting ready for breakfast, I noticed a smaller Sparrow type bird having a go at some of the seed on the ground. My smaller pair of binoculars stay at the ready next to my kitchen window, just for times such as this. This was another first for me. Maybe I am starting to get lucky on seeing new birds at my feeders. A Field Sparrow was on a fast pace to enjoy having his breakfast with me. I ran into my bedroom to fetch my camera and as soon as I started to raise the window, it made it's getaway. Maybe next time.

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, rpope15@bellsouth.net

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Our Feathered Friends
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Ali Hoffman, Anthony Gray, Field Sparrow, Linda Gray, Madi Hoffman
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