|Our Feathered Friends - Feb. 2|
|Wednesday, February 2, 2011|
By RAY POPE
First of all, I had to wade through waist high grass to get to the walking path. The first sounds were from some unidentified Duck, a soft gurgling, “quack, quack, quack.” Later I ran into a small boy and probably his sister who was riding bicycles on the other side of the creek. She told me about the ducks and said it had a green head, but it wasn’t a Mallard. Later when I was headed back home, I heard it again.
Many birds call the old Town Creek area home, and it makes a big difference as to what’s being found and what time of the year it is. There were a pair of Carolina Wrens singing back and forth across the creek and a pair of Carolina Chickadees looking in every crack and crannie of the trees hoping to find their supper. I have watched the chickadees many times in the area checking out the former homes of Downey Woodpeckers.
Since the Downeys excavate a new nest each year, it really helps the housing market for the smaller cavity nesting birds. Remember that most of the Wrens here in Tennessee are also cavity nesters, especially out in the wild.
Here around our homes, they will nest just about anywhere, just ask Karen Franklin. By the way, Karen has been really sick, so keep her in your thoughts and prayers. On the south west side of Sinking Creek, (or is it Town Creek, it doesn’t matter which name you use because it’s all one and the same) I spotted a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in the tops of a tall Hackberry tree and also in a tall “what-cha-ma-call-it” tree. Thinking back I believe it was a Sycamore tree, the one with the white bark.
Checking through all the birds, I thought I saw a Bohemian Waxwing in the midst of the flock, but I didn’t see the bird again, so maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me.
Another interesting thing they were doing was flying just over my head, catching insects and flying back to their perch. That reminded me of a Flycatcher’s eating habits. As it always happens, I didn’t have my camera with me. This kind of behavior I had not seen before. It was still interesting to watch, and I probably spent a good 20 minutes in that one spot.
Returning toward home I spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler in one of the cedar trees next to the Sellars Funeral Home. Judd, you need to clean out your Martin houses before too long.
Saturday, after stopping at the Lebanon-Wilson County Library and because it was such a pretty day, I rode out to visit Dotty Kim who lives on the north slope of Four-Mile Hill. She had Chickadees, Titmice, Downey Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Juncos and one Yellow-rumped Warbler looking through the thicket that grew up alongside the small creek on the east border of their property. It was a good visit and I really hated to leave. Just a couple years ago, all Dotty had to do was wheel her way across the street where we would sit with binoculars in hand watching all the action around my feeders. If it got a little cold, we would light a fire in the outdoor fire ring and keep talking way past dark. I really miss those days.
I’m sure some of you remember Sandy Suddarth, along with his wife, Dora. Sandy worked many years out to the Cedars of Lebanon State Park where he was a ranger, and most of all, a great friend. Sandy now lives up toward Lafayette, and he sent me some pictures of a white-headed female Cardinal. He will try to capture a better image of the bird so I can share it with you.
Anytime some of you might like to get together and do a little bird-watching at our Don Fox Park, just give me a shout and we can go from there.