[TN-Bird] Slow day in NW TN

8/12/03
Reelfoot Lake area

I had an unexpected day off, and decided to run over to Reelfoot and see
what shorebirds could be rounded up; not many. Plenty of water, just not
many birds. Island 13 has dropped alot since the last time I was there,
and there is decent looking habitat, but very few birds. I had hoped to
run across a lingering Piping Plover, but no luck. The best bird on 13
was a loafing Caspian Tern. Hopefully, habitat should hold up on 13 for
a little while yet, and it will again produce like it always seems to.

The Black Bayou/Phillipy Pits area has habitat, but not much variety
today. I did have Black-necked Stilts in 3 locations today though,
including Phillipy. I thought I might stumble across a Bell's Vireo at
Black Bayou, but once again no luck.

White Lake has plenty of water, but wader numbers looked pretty low
mid-day. Shorebirds were present in pretty good numbers, mostly the edge
species like Pec, Least, Solitary, Spotted, and Killdeer. Several
Black-necked Stilts were here as well. One nice surprise was a lone
Short-billed Dowitcher in faded breeding attire that dropped in with a
flock of Pecs. Shortly afterwards a Kite spooked the birds and I lost
sight of the Dowitcher.

The majority of birds today were Killdeer, Pec, and Least. The Least in
particular are passing through in good numbers in juvenile plumage, and
are always a treat. I had singles of Lesser Yellowleg, Semi Plover, and
a total of 3 Semi Sands, all 3 in juvenile plumage. A total of 11
species of shorebirds on the day was disappointing, but a 1st of season
Wilson's Snipe in a drained fish pond on the way home was a nice
surprise. After reading about the Pits over the weekend, I started to
head that way this morning, looks like Memphis is calling me Saturday!

Good birding!!

Mike Todd
McKenzie, TN
Carroll Co.
birder1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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