[TN-Bird] north Blount County (incl heron nests)

Hi folks,

I had an appointment halfway through Tracey's bird walk, so I decided
to get out early on my own instead.  I found a total of 54 species in
the northwest corner of Blount County in about 3 hours this morning. 
Highlights included:

OSPREY on a nest at Scenic Point and another flying at Lousiville
Point Park (I'm told that they are on the nest there, too, but didn't
see it myself).  The number of PIED-BILLED GREBES is down all around,
and only 4 were at Scenic Point - the lowest number I've seen there
since November.

There are now GREAT BLUE HERONS nesting in the pines at Louisville
Point Park (2 nests) and across the water from there, in Knox County
(at least 4 nests, but I saw about 25 birds circling at one point)  I
am not aware of previous nesting there.

I saw 11 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS from Jones Bend Road, on the way to
Penninsula Hospital.  Also 2 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 4 NORTHERN
SHOVELLERS, 7 BUFFLEHEADS, etc.

The muddy area off Miser Station Road boasted my first BLUE-WINGED
TEAL of the year, and I saw them in 3 other places today as well.

TREE SWALLOWS were over every body of water I glanced at.  They went
from nothing to all back in a hurry this year!

Phelps Pond had a smattering of GADWALL, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN
SHOVELLERS, and others.  After getting off to a late state, the
number of GREAT BLUE HERON nests seems to increase everytime I go
there.

When I came home (south Blount County) I was surprisingly greeted by
PINE SISKINS.  We almost never have them unless there is snow on the
ground.  Our WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and several PURPLE FINCHES are
still here.

I believe my Blount County list is now 106 for 2006.

Charlie

*******************************************************************
Charlie Muise, Naturalist near
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

"To the dull mind all nature is leaden.  To the illuminated mind 
the whole world sparkles with light."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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