Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Who's an Old Coot?

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American Coot



I am really looking forward to this years Christmas parade and am in hopes of getting some great pictures to share with our readers of The Wilson Post. Of course by the time you get to read this, it will be history, so enjoy the photos after the fact. I am also really excited to be going to, The Little River Band, concert that will be benefiting Brooks House and hope to get some nice pictures of that also.

With all of the rain this past Friday night, I was wondering if the weatherman was wrong about it stopping before our time to try and do a little birding. We ran into Randy and Teresa Botts at our usual Peking stop. I see Teresa most of the time at the Lebanon Senior Citizen Center, where she is the activity director.

Headed west on highway 70, Anthony Gray stopped at a local Dollar Store to pick up a loaf of bread to feed a bunch of ducks that hang out at the Cherokee Steak House Restaurant on the Cumberland River. When we stepped out of the van, armed with a couple of slices of bread, there was only a pair of Mallards there. After tossing them a piece or two, here comes about ten more barreling across the water, in high gear, looking like they hadn't eaten in about a week. Anthony gave me a couple more slices to feed them with.

Not to be left out, from the upper reaches of the parking lot comes Anthonys nemesis, running full throttle straight at him, the mutant knot-headed, killer goose that stands about five feet tall, at least in Anthonys mind, honking and hissing all the way. He slammed a slice down on the pavement and threw up dust, making a quick retreat to the safety of the other side of the car. I am not sure why Anthony is so frightened of that poor little bird.

Leaving that area of Old Hickory Lake behind, we head south toward the Laguarda community hanging a right down to the Tyree Access part of Spencer Creek. A large family of Eastern Bluebirds greet us as we drive by the large field where the sage-grass grows. Pulling up by the lake, a Belted Kingfisher takes off fussing at us with his rattling call, finally stopping on an overhanging limb about fifteen feet above the surface of the water. I marvel at their expertise in their fishing habits. They will make their dive from out of the sun, where the light confuses their prey. Many fighter pilots adopted this tactic during World War 2.

A pair of American Coots were feeding in an area where water weeds were growing. I fired off a couple of frames hoping to get a decent picture of them, (see photo). They didn't stay there very long. I don't think that duck hunters shoot them. Probably not a good tasting bird. We tossed them a slice of bread before we left the area, but they probably didn't care for that either.

Several flocks of Double-crested Cormorants made their way overhead, flying in the familiar, "V" pattern that makes flying easier. Coach Woody Hunt, Cumberland University Baseball coach uses this as part of his players training, that teaches that you can do more as a team than you can do as individuals. We watched one group of Cormorants take off and as soon as they are airborne, they start getting into their usual flying pattern, (see photo).

Finally headed back to Lebanon, we thought that we would check out the rumors of a Bald Eagle seen hanging around the Barton's Creek boat launch area. They were not in the location close by the road so if any of you get out that way, keep your eyes open for them.

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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Our Feathered Friends
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Anthony Gray, Randy Botts, Ray Pope, Teresa Botts
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