[TN-Bird] NW TN 9/5/03 (Water, water, everywhere!)

  • From: <birder1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 21:11:27 -0500

Reelfoot Lake & vicinity
Lake, Obion, Dyer Co.

I started the morning in the woods, hoping to get some of what everyone
else seems to have gotten, WARBLERS! Walnut Log was very quiet, and I
only had THREE species of warbler for the day. I ran across several
bands of Chickadees, Titmice, and Nuthatches, but only one had any
warblers in tow, these being just Northern Parula and Yellow-throated
Warbler (Common Yellowthroat rounded out the day). No Thrushes today,
and besides the still singing Acadians, the only Empidonax was a calling
Least.  Other birds of interest on Walnut Log were a juvenile
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and the only Mississippi Kite of the day
(not surprising as on the 3rd the Corpus Christi Hawk Watch had over
1,700 Mississippi Kites come over IN LESS THAN AN HOUR!) Other than the
conspicuous absence of some of our regular breeding birds, I would have
had a hard time knowing there is a passerine migration going on. A day
of snag-watching yielded no Olive-sided's.

Shorebirding was terrible, as the recent rain has totally inundated all
of the regular shorebird holes. Island 13 was the only saving grace, and
it just barely. As I met Nancy on the road into 13, she gave me the bad
news that I was expecting. When I went by Tiptonville Bar and it was no
more, I knew I was in trouble. As Nancy said, Island 13 is just that, an
island. I spent a couple of hours out there, and thanks to the gorgeous
weather, without breaking a sweat for once. There were a couple of
hundred shorebirds scattered around here and there, the majority Least
of course. A few Semi Plovers and Semi Sands, and a Spottie or two kept
the Least and Killdeer company. I finally came across a single juvenile
Western among the Semi's, and then got a couple of the birds I was
hoping for. A distant sighting of five Baird's is always a treat, as was
the Sanderling that finally ran out into the open. Island 13 was the
shorebird bonanza today, with a total of 8 species. Caspian and Least
were the only terns seen today, and a few Ringer's the only gulls.

In contrast to everywhere else, White Lake is largely dry in the
designated shorebird area; dry and a solid sea of grass. I had only
Killdeer and 3 Semi Sands at White Lake, these in the very small area of
flats in front of the now-defunct observation tower.  I looked in the
area the Tricolored had been hanging out, with no luck, just the rest of
the expected waders.

It's certainly been a crazy year for shorebirding in that section of the
state, unusual when you have too MUCH water in September.  We should be
in good shape for the a while now once some of this new water drops out.

All in all though, a great day to be out!

Good birding!!

Mike Todd
McKenzie, TN
Carroll Co.

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