May 6th, 2017,
Victor and I began the Perry County Spring Bird Count by spending the
night in the Raptor Lookout Tower at Stoll Farm.
Apparently, the North winds suppressed most of the nocturnal movement
with only small numbers of Warblers heard, and surprisingly, zero Thrushes
were heard. ( The count also ended with new lows for all the migratory
The highlight was 4 different BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS heard passing over the
lookout, at least 2 of which were headed South! One was at 11p.m., outside
the count period, but the rest were around 4 a.m.
Who knows how many you could hear if you stayed up all night?
Joe Hall, Seth Beachy and I then covered Stoll Farm in the forenoon and
Sugar Bottoms in the afternoon for a total of 129 species which is the
highest we've had with this route.
CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW heard from the White-oak Ridge Raptor Lookout, the
first time since 1990-something.
30 species of Warblers, most of them at Stoll Farm, with A CONNECTICUT
WARBLER from Sugar Bottoms that was found by Seth being the best, followed
by GOLDEN-WINGED, CANADA, BLACKBURNIAN, CHESTNUT-SIDED, multiple CAPEMAYs
and NASHVILLES, BAY-BREASTED and BLACKPOLLs.
The CONNECTICUT WARBLER was silent and spished in close by Seth in a
dense, tangled understory between a Cane Brake and the Tennessee River,
which walked in to 8 ft. on the ground and stood for a minute before
turning around and vanishing, not to be seen again.
The only warblers our group missed were Ceruleans (plentiful in other
routes) and Magnolia. (Present and very obvious this morning 5/7/17 at
Stoll Farm, one day late for the count).
Mourning Warbler has not yet arrived to our knowledge.
Most of the other highlights were from Sugar Bottoms ( private and
accessible by kayak only).
A LEAST BITTERN and 2 VIRGINIA RAILS were found along a marshy edge where
a Least Bittern had been present in May of 2016, as well as 2 SORAS, a
single SEDGE WREN and 2 MARSH WRENS.
Vocalizing WILLOW and ALDER FLYCATCHERS were found, as well as a silent
bird that was identified as TRAILL'S FLYCATCHER.
16 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were new for the count, seen flying over in
5 BANK SWALLOWS were counted among the many swallows that were feeding
over the Wheat fields.
Also present in numbers were LINCOLN'S, SAVANNAH, and WHITE-CROWNED
SPARROWS, DICKCISSELS, and BOBOLINKS.
I'll try to post the count totals if and when I get time.
Ruben Stoll, Centerville TN