|Our Feathered Friends|
|Wednesday, September 15, 2010|
By RAY POPE
First off, we went to the Wilson County Fairgrounds to do a walkthrough of the Fiddler’s Grove village. There must have been some kind of horse thing going on as there were more there than at the Kentucky Derby. The only birds found there was several Morning Doves, Bluejays and of course old Starlings.
There is great potential for attracting some of our better feeder type birds such as Chickadees, Titmouse, Goldfinch and some of our true Sparrows. It was so quiet there while walking, it seemed unreal. With the addition of a few Hummingbird feeders and someone to replenish the nectar, it could probably attract over a hundred of them.
We decided to do a little birding at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park so we came in the back entrance through the community of Norene. I reckon the most heard bird of the day was the Carolina Wren, which we heard or saw at every stop that we made. Usually they will be singing their “Tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle” song mostly in the spring time, but now closer to the fall of the year their song sounds like someone raking their thumbnail on an old plastic comb. Traveling down Norene Road we saw several Mockingbirds fly across the road from one side to the other.
Just before you get to the old ragged bridge we spotted a Common Yellow-throat Warbler in the shrubs next to the road looking for his breakfast. I wrote about them just several weeks ago. A few hundred yards on past the bridge we saw some activity in the tree tops so we pulled off the road next to the Sue Warren Trail so traffic could go by. Calling from the underbrush there came the call of a Rufous-sided Towhee with his “Cherwink” call. I taught Karen the finer art of “shushing,” that is to make a noise through your teeth that sounds like a Wren fussing. All that commotion brought out some Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse, along with a Downey Woodpecker. Anyone who is interested in birds needs to learn how to make that sound. Karen now can!
Just past the swimming pool, Karen heard a bird singing on her side of the truck, so we stopped and got out for a listen. I couldn’t believe my ears, as we were listening to a Yellow-throated Vireo just above our head. Karen got to hear the song and then she spotted the songster. Almost at the same time we spotted an Eastern Wood Peewee, a member of the Flycatcher family. At first she thought it might be an Eastern Phoebe which is very similar in looks. I told Karen to watch its tail to see if it would pump up and down. No tail movement and with good light on the subject, you could see the two light wingbars. If it had been in the spring time, it would have been singing its name, “Peeawee.”
Parking at the Dixon Meritt Nature Center, we took a walk on my trail that I helped blaze back in the 1970’s, on the 1/2 mile loop. At the spring, the water level was lower than any time I had ever seen it in the past. I could have taken a sponge and sucked it dry in a matter of minutes. Returning back on the loop we spotted a White-tailed Deer with its young, not 15 feet away and seemed not to worry about us at all. I’m sure that it hit the road running when some children came down the path screaming like the devil was after them. I’m glad that we got there first.
Coming back, we were treated to a pair of White Breasted Nuthatch, which flew over my head to look over the bark of a Hickory tree for some morsel of food. Also in the same vicinity there was a male Summer Tanager up in the tree tops, just sitting pretty.
After eating lunch at Cracker Barrel, we headed out to the old blown out bridge. Several people were taking advantage of the great weather and a chance to drown some worms. With our pair of matching Bushnell 10x50 power Binoculars, everything seemed close enough to really identify all the birds on the lake.
Karen spotted a Great Egret and a small bird that she had never saw before. I took a look and it was a Green Heron, which old timer used to call it a “Shikepoll” or a “mile-or-more bird,” I will not explain that name! A couple of Great Blue Herons and a pair of Mallard Ducks rounded out our day of discovery. I almost forgot about the bird we heard singing on the way into the blown out bridge area. Karen’s sharp hearing helped us as we listened to a song of the White-eyed Vireo which sings, “Chick- per- chick- a-ria-chick! I only hope her husband’s day was as much fun as hers.