[TN-Bird] Reelfoot Lake Area

  • From: "Ken Leggett" <kcleggett@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 20:54:10 -0500

I had delayed posting this week's report until I could find out about when the 
harvesting would start on the rice fields in Lake County.  The fields there are 
mostly dry but there is sanding water between some of the rows. Nancy just 
answered the question; they started today. 

I had been in touch with Bobby Sikes and he is going to start harvest next 
Monday on his fields near Bogota and Miston in Dyer County. These fields vary 
from dry to fairly wet. He is very happy to have all birders that want to be 
there in contrast to Henry Sanger who tried to get Nancy and I off the public 
road in Black Bayou last year.  However, his Uncle Joe is more tolerant and 
will probably allow some observers if approached carefully.


I have access to a Super Cub (airplane) now which is perfect for flying low and 
slow over the birding areas and photograph them.  Earlier this month Nancy and 
I flew over most of the best shorebird and other birding areas and made detail 
photos of them.

I hope to do this on a regular basis to keep up with the status of each area 
better than we can do only on the ground. (These observations and photos have 
already indicated good areas that we had missed from the ground.)


The TWRA has been pumping water at White Lake since Thursday and the entire 
area from the shorebird fields is now  full.  On Saturday there were some 
shorebirds (Both Yellowlegs, Pectoral, Least, Solitary and a Short-billed 
Dowitcher) still  there but Sunday the only interesting find was an Osprey 
which has been there for the past few weeks.


Island 13 has had very good habitat for the past few weeks but has been very 
disappointing.  Today, Glen Criswell had only 40 Pintail and 15 Shovelers. 
During the last ten days species seen include Caspian, Common Terns, Bald 
Eagles and some of the more  common shorebirds but not a great deal of variety 
or number.


The Ibis hole is filled with water and vegetation and only a few ducks were 
observed there this weekend.


Bogota WMA is also filled with vegetation and for the most part  the shorebird 
area is dry.  The north end is wet.


All areas out on 79W are  now dry.


The only birds observed at Lake Number 9 on Saturday were 5 Pied-billed Grebes. 
 The lake is still almost full.

The field off Great River Road just south of 79 is the only place that I have 
been seeing many shorebirds.  The last three days there have been over 300 
birds there each day.  They consisted of 78-110 Lesser Yellowlegs, 100 Least 
Sandpipers, few Semipalmated Sandpipers, 5-10 Stilt Sandpipers, 1-3 Wilson's 
Phalarope along with Blue-winged, Green-winged Teal and Pintail Ducks.


Saturday, Betty and I had two flocks of White Pelicans.  One was out just south 
of 79W over Tumbleweed WMA and had about  220 birds  and the other was over 
Champey's Pocket and we had about 180.


Ken Leggett

Dyersburg, TN 38024



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