[TN-Bird] Foothills Parkway - 489 Broad-wings - 9/27




     I went back up to the observation tower at Look Rock, Foothills Parkway 
(Blount Co.) today hoping for warblers and maybe a few hawks. After a quiet 
start near the entrance I arrived at the tower at 11 am. I raised my binos to 
scan the partly cloudy skies to the west and found 5 Broad-wings relatively 
high. Turned around to the east and found more kettling in the distance. From 
then until around 1 pm with clearing skies the hawks were pretty regular with 
only short breaks between groups. The earlier hawks were passing on the south 
side of the ridge--later mostly on the north side. Some were a few hundred feet 
above the tower, some eye-level, some below then popping up in the gap west of 
the tower. Winds were to the northeast parallel to the ridge. A cloud-front 
moved over around 1:00 from the southwest bringing more wind and less hawks 
from here out. The hawks that did come through were really fighting it.
     Just after 1:00 a Perigrine Falcon flew by at eye-level less than 100 ft 
away. Two Red-headed Woodpeckers flew by at 1:38 and 2:15. Three Sharp-shins 
were seen as well as 3 Hornets (F-18 fighter jets) together making a terrible 
racket.
      Around 2:30 with no activity for awhile I decided to leave just short of 
my 500 Broad-winged goal, walked to the bottom of the tower, then turned around 
and went back up for one last scan. As I got to the top a 2nd Peregrine was 
soaring maybe 20 ft right above the tower. It moved out a little and flew 
stationary into the wind for a minute then flew off, unlike the other, to the 
southeast towards Cade's Cove. This was one of those days to remember and quite 
a surprise. It was funny to see 2 visitors to the tower continuing their 
conversation while ignoring a large kettle of Broad-wings a hundred yards away 
as if this is something one sees daily.
     On a side note, you can see a long swath of downed  trees to the south on 
the other side of Happy Valley from one of the April tornados--it's impressive.

closed road near Pkwy entrance (9:30 - 10:20):

Magnolia warbler - 2
Tennessee warbler - 2
Scarlet Tanager - 2
Swainson's Thrush - 5+
Wood Thrush - 1
Gray Catbird - 1
Wild Turkey - 6+

Look Rock tower (11:00 - 2:30):

Broad-winged Hawk - 489 (conservative)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 2
Red-headed Woodpecker - 2
Chimney Swift

Red-tailed Hawk - 1 (local)
Turkey Vulture (locals)
Hairy Woodpecker - 1

Shane Williams
Knoxville,TN



     

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  • » [TN-Bird] Foothills Parkway - 489 Broad-wings - 9/27 - Shane H. Williams