[tn-bird] East Tennessee weekend birding

  • From: dtrently <dtrently@xxxxxxx>
  • To: TN-Bird <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 10:33:27 -0400

Here are some reports for areas I birded in east Tennessee Friday and Sunday.

On Friday afternoon, Richard Hall (visiting birder from England) and visited 
Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blount County from 
about 6:00 p.m. until after dark. Birds were very quiet but we were able to 
get good looks at several life birds for Richard.
We birded the campground parking area and walked in to the settling pond area, 
over to Hyatt Lane, and then out the paved road to the loop road entrance.
Highlights were my first ever YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT for the Smokies (long 
expected at that site), plus a PIED-BILLED GREBE on the first pond.
Misses were Pileated Woodpecker, Wild Turkey and Red-shouldered Hawk, all 
usually reliable there. Also, no Whip-poor-wills at Metcalf Bottoms.
Birds found:
A Black Bear was in the area of Hyatt Lane, at the stream crossing.

Pied-billed Grebe
Wood Duck
N Bobwhite
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied & Downy Woodpeckers
E Phoebe
E Kingbird
Barn Swallow
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
E Bluebird
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat (singing)
Yellow-breasted Chat (singing)
Indigo Bunting (of course, singing)
Blue Grosbeak (singing)
Chipping, Song, Field Sparrows
Red-winged Blackbird
E Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole
American Goldfinch

On Sunday, we started at Kingston Steam Plant (Roan County, off Exit 350 of 
I-40) in a light rain. Once the rain left, the heat and humidity went way up 
and songbirds disappeared (not that they are plentiful at the open areas of 
the Plant).
There are a few shorebirds around, with the following represented:

Killdeer (many)
Greater Yellowlegs (1)
Least Sandpiper (3)
Pectoral Sandpiper (1)

NUTHATCHes, at least 2 singing GRASSHOPPER SPARROWs were some of the 
highlights. Others:

Double-crested Cormorant (1)
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Black & Turkey Vultures
N Bobwhite
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
E Phoebe
E Kingbird
Purple Martin
Tree, N Rough-winged, Barn & Cliff Swallows
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Wren
E Bluebird
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Eur Starling
Pine Warbler
C Yellowthroat
Yellow-breasted Chat
N Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
E Meadowlark
C Grackle
Orchard Oriole
Am Goldfinch

From the Steam Plant, we headed to Monroe County for the Cherokee National 
Forest and Chota Waterfowl Refuge, south of Vonore. Birds were very quiet and 
it was hard to find anything, but we did manage a few. We missed Barred Owl 
and Whip-poor-will, but did manage to hear at least 2 CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOWs. 
Usually you can see them flying around at Chota, at dusk, but these just sang 
from the woods. We did have at least 4 EASTERN SCREECH-OWLs, spontaneously 
calling (without prompting from a tape or imitation of voice).

just a few of the additional birds seen in these areas:

Acadian Flycatcher - these are still singing their typical 2-syllable song, 
but a few were doing one-note calls. We were never able to see one of these 
birds, as they were sitting very still in the forest. (Cherokee NF, Citico 
Creek area)
Wood Thrush (also Citico Creek area)
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-eyed Vireo
Black-throated Green Warbler (silent male, molting) (Citico Creek area)
Scarlet Tanagers - at least 4 in one tree at Chota

Richard made it to over 80 life birds with these trips (after getting over 50 
in New York City's Central Park and Jamaica Bay before coming to Knoxville).
Tuesday we go to Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge in Knox County and to the high 
elevations of the Smokies. I hope to report more sightings after that.

David Trently
Knoxville, TN

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