Max Medley, of Dalton GA, and I had a fine day of birding in Tennessee
Sunday. We scoped Chickamauga Lake from the dam, from the western Booker T.
Washington State Park boat ramp, and from the Hwy 58 pullouts at Harrison
Bay. We birded from the observation platform overlooking the lake at
Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge (twice), as well as from the overlook at the
Cherokee Removal Memorial Park, also twice, and also at Hiwassee WR.
There were a lot of great birds everywhere during the day and evening but
the coolest highlight was spotting about 66 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS (some of
which were previously reported) snoozing and preening on the shore, on the
northwest side of Hiwassee Island, upriver from the overlook at the Cherokee
Removal Memorial Park, while we were looking for a certain reported white
We decided to revisit the observation platform (gazebo) overlooking the lake
at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge one more time before night really set in (still
looking for a certain reported white crane). When we got back to the
parking lot the folks we had last birded with there were pulling out as the
day darkened. We stayed until deep dusk, when all of the Sandhill Cranes
had finally really quieted down, when we were really surprised to see at
least 85 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS come in very late in the evening and land
in the middle of the lake below the gazebo. The birds grouped up tightly in
a large raft and then continually moved to the left and eventually partially
behind some of the trees there. That was really cool, especially when we
realized it was not a group of cranes coming in, but pelicans! We don't
know if any of the previous 66 birds were members of this group or not.
A great way to end another great day of birding in Tennessee!
Good Birding All!
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia
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