[TN-Bird] NTOS field trip results (KY Lake)

  • From: <birder1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2009 21:32:33 -0600

KY Lake (Henry & Benton Co)
Lick Creek (Benton Co)
Pace Point area, Britton Ford, Eagle Creek (Henry Co)

I met a great group of birders today for a run around KY Lake, most from 
around Nashville, but one from Memphis as well. The day was gorgeous, but 
unfortunately that also meant that the heat shimmer on the water was 
terrible this afternoon.

We checked Lick Creek twice, and as all subsequent reports since David and I 
found the Little Gull, we had no luck today. A few Forster's Terns and a few 
distant White Pelicans were the highlights here. Still lots of Bonaparte's 
trading in and out of the area, so the Little could still be around.

We had just started scanning at Rocky Point when Chris Sloan picked out a 
Red-necked Grebe. This was a state bird for several today, and after much 
active feeding, it finally gave us some great looks not too far out. Lots of 
loons, but many were just too far out, and those that were ID'able were just 
Commons. Conditions would get drastically worse for the afternoon.

A lot of time spent scanning the big raft off Pace Point produced only a 
couple of Greater Scaup and Redheads among the common divers and dabblers. A 
few Goldeneye are now present, my first of the fall. Also a few Red-breasted 
Mergansers in. A big surprise at Pace Point was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 
feeding in the trees at the end of the road.

A stop at the observation platform yielded a couple of surprises as well. We 
had two large white birds sleeping on the near shoreline, blocked by willows 
to most of us. Finally David Kirschke realized that they weren't Pelicans, 
which we had written them off as, but were in fact Swans. Finally they 
raised their heads and were adult Tundra Swans. While here we also had a 
couple of Sandhill Cranes soar thru high overhead. These were also spotted 
by David I believe! A brief look at the sparrow field below the observation 
platform was not very successful for anything unusual.

Britton Ford was also very slow, though some Greater White-fronted and 
Canada Geese were seen by most on the way out. The area that was so good for 
LeConte's for years has been cleared and turned under, so hopefully this 
area will come back and be productive again for this much-wanted winter 

We had a lot of loons at Big Eagle Campground, overlooking Eagle Creek, but 
only Commons. We tried Port Rd, and there were massive numbers of loons and 
gulls on the water, but heat waves made identifying practically anything 
impossible. We tried Trailer Rd, with absolutely no luck there either. Our 
last resort, which gave us some nice looks, was working our way out to the 
mouth of Eagle Creek along Lakeview Dr. Though we didn't have any rare loons 
here either, we had good numbers and good looks from here to end the day 

We missed several goodies, not even a Lesser Black-backed today, but saw 
some nice birds to make up for it. Another find day to be out with NTOS. 
Thanks to everyone for inviting me along!

I have posted 5 new shots from today in my winter 2009/2010 gallery. If 
interested, the first new image starts here: 

Good Birding!!

Mike Todd
McKenzie, TN

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