|OFF- Oct. 17|
|Wednesday, October 17, 2012|
I don't believe that we could have ordered a more perfect Saturday as this past weekend. The weather was so nice that it was a great day to drive out to Tyree's Access on OldHickoryLake and try my hand at fishing. Fishing is an easy task unless there is no connection with my brain, telling my left hand how to hold a cricket so that I could bait my hook. Finally after dropping half of my crickets back into the wild, it became frustrating and it was time to depart for home.
This past Monday was the last day for me to see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at my location on Fairview Avenue. Have any of you seen any later than that? In a couple more weeks, I will take my remaining feeders down and wash them and store them in a sealed container to be ready for next season.
I have bunches of friends everywhere, especially on Facebook. Last week there was a question from an old friend that used to be a manager at the old Stucky’s off Highway 231 South. I'm not sure where the name came from, but they were famous for their pecan log, and maybe it would get "stuck" in your teeth. Anyway, the manager there was Thelma Sorrell, a.k.a. "Moonbaby," who sent me a message about some kind of a Hawk she had spotted on South Hartmann Drive. Ever since she mentioned it, I have made a special trip out that way several times to see if I can find it. This past Sunday, there was a Black Vulture on a dead tree, and farther down by the new LebanonHigh School there was a Turkey Vulture soaring in a field across from the school entrance. The only other birds in and around that location was Mourning Doves sitting on the power lines. Thelma said that they were not "Buzzards" but some type of a hawk, that when it was perched on a power line, it reminded her of Count Dracula in his black vampire jacket, if you can describe it as such. As long as I am in the neighborhood, I will turn down that way in hopes of putting a first name on the hawk.
It was nice to hear from another friend, Grace Farrar, who lives out in the eastern part of our county. Grace was saddened by the apparent suicide of one of her feathered friends, an Ovenbird, that had a fatal encounter with her glass door. Flying into the solid glass was not an act of suicide, but most likely the bird could see a reflection of sky in front of him. Many people have the same problem with birds smacking either a window or a glass door. If there is darkness behind the glass, it gives the impression of a mirror, with sky being reflected, a deadly outlook for a bird. If the bird is fighting with his reflection, he won't back up several feet to get a running (flying) start to clobber the intrusive bird. If there is any way possible to place some type of white or beige colored curtains behind the door or window, it will remove the reflection from the glass panes.
The Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) is a large wood Warbler, which one could jump to conclusions thinking it was a member of the Thrush family. They wear olive-brown upperparts with white underparts heavily streaked with black and a white eye ring. On the head they have a line of orange feathers with olive-green tips which can be raised as a small crest. My favorite part is the song of the Ovenbird, first heard on "my" trail at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, during a bird count with the late Reverend William (Bill) Senter. Actually, it is the Dixon Merritt trail, but it was blazed by Sharon Patterson and I and it has been used so much that it is a foot deep in places. The call is a loud, “Teacher, Teacher, Teacher, Teacher,” rising in volume toward the end of the song.
Another bird that was at the lake when I went "fishing" was a waterbird called a Pied-billed Grebe. It is a small Duck like bird that has "Lobed" feet which it uses for diving underwater. If you spook one, they will dive down under the surface of the Lake for up to thirty seconds and then come up farther away. I will write more about them in a later article.