[TN-Bird] Anderson, White, Cumberland, Hamilton, and Meigs Sunday

  • From: "Chuck/Lola Estes" <chucklola@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 23:13:23 -0500

7:30 a.m. - 6:45 p.m. Sunday, March 7, 2010

Anderson, White, Cumberland, Hamilton, and Meigs Counties

A friend from Jackson, Mississippi visited over the weekend and we made a
swing through several counties trying to locate target birds for his year
list.  We started in Oak Ridge at the Gallaher Bend walking trail in Clark
Center Park just south of Oak Ridge.  He wanted a Red-Breasted Nuthatch and
we found several cooperative birds about 20 minutes into the walk in a good
Virginia Pine grove.

Next bird of interest was a Horned Lark.  We headed to Bridgestone/Firestone
Centennial Wilderness Area in White County and the warm-weather grasses that
we hoped may have some recently plowed fields.  It was a beautiful day (10 -
11:30 a.m. EST) and we had lots of Song Sparrows, a few Chipping Sparrows, 2
Kestrels, but no Horned Larks.  The highlight was a Merlin that gave us a
good close look as it soared around the barn area.

We continued the search for Horned Larks in areas that Ed LeGrand has noted
in Cumberland County around the UT Grasslands area and the Shadow Mountain
Estates.  Beautiful country but no Horned Larks.  As we were leaving
Cumberland County we had ~400 Sandhill Cranes flying overhead going north.

From there we went down to Chickamauga Lake at Booker T. Washington State
Park from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST.  We had ~20 Common Loons, ~15 Horned
Grebes, ~12 Pied-billed Grebes, ~40 Buffleheads, 3 Hooded Mergansers, but no
Common Goldeneyes which was another of his target birds.

Our last stop was Hiwassee Refuge (5:30 to 6:45 p.m.) in Meigs County.  No
Sandhill Cranes were present at the fields around the gazebo observation
area but many ducks were in the embayment.  We had 3 Redheads, 30+ Gadwalls,
~10 Hooded Mergansers, ~15 Buffleheads, 3 Lesser Scaup, 30+ Ring-necked
Duck, 2 Northern Pintails, and ~25 Mallards.  We finished the day at the
overlook at the Cherokee Removal Memorial looking up the Tennessee River at
the mouth of the Hiwassee River.  At low water as is the current condition,
the Sandhill Cranes will mass on the mudflats and islands up river to roost.
We were hoping for a big white bird to show up with the flock.  We enjoyed
the sunset and watched as flights of Sandhills arrived upstream.  We
estimated about 300-400 Sandhills.  One last scan of the Sandhills and one
Whooping Crane stood out from the flock.  It appeared to be harassed a few
times by the Sandhills as it moved around on the island.  A great end to a
long day of good birds.

Chuck Estes
Oak Ridge, TN

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  • » [TN-Bird] Anderson, White, Cumberland, Hamilton, and Meigs Sunday - Chuck/Lola Estes