[TN-Bird] Reelfoot and Great River Rd areas; 4/23/05

  • From: <birder1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 13:23:58 -0500

Reelfoot Lake and Great River Rd areas of NW TN
Obion, Lake, and Dyer Co. (also Fulton Co. KY)
Don Manning and I birded the general Reelfoot Lake area yesterday with a 
visiting birder from Montana working on his TN list. The weather quickly 
deteriorated over the day, but a few nice birds were still had here and there.

We started in the woods on Walnut Log Rd, though the cool temps and wind had 
things pretty quiet. We only had 10 species of Warblers on the day, but did get 
Don Stoeker a few TN ticks with KY Warbler and great looks at both 
Waterthrushes. A Cerulean was singing in one of the two spots on Walnut Log 
that I regularly get them, but unfortunately never showed itself. The only 
Thrush was a lingering Hermit. Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireos were in song 
everywhere. Another new arrival and tick for Don was my 1st Acadian Flycatcher 
of the season.

By the time we left Walnut Log, the wind was howling and a stinging rain was 
starting to fall. We knew we were done in the woods for the day, so it was on 
to Shorebirds, and hopefully Jeff's saying that "Bad weather equals good birds" 
would ring true. We had a few Yellowlegs and Solitaries in the 1st spot we 
looked, just south of the State Line. After we crossed into KY, we were 
scanning a sometimes productive spot (with winds gusting probably well over 30 
mph from the north at this time) and a flash of white caught my eye. This flash 
had been 5 Willets putting down just up the road from us. After a couple of 
minutes they attempted to leave again, but made it north only a short distance 
before making a sweeping turn  back, and choosing to land directly opposite my 
car, not 50 feet away. We spent a little while enjoying these birds as they 
chattered among themselves, seemingly not happy with the change in travel 
plans. I have only seen these birds a handful of times in TN, and these were my 
1st for KY.

Long Point in KY was teeming with shorebirds, but nothing present other than 
both Yellowlegs, Solitaries, and Pectorals, other than a Black-necked Stilt.

Shorebirds were pretty scarce overall in TN, though the Phillipy area had lots 
of birds, including the only Least Sandpipers of the day. Also present were 2 
Short-billed Dowitchers. We had hoped to run across Golden-Plovers, but no luck 
on this day. All 6 swallow species were seen on the day, and my 1st Dickcissels 
of the year were in Dyer Co, with a couple of birds seen and heard.

I have posted a couple of photos of the Willets in my Willet gallery at:
http://www.pbase.com/mctodd/willet , the last two images are the birds from 
yesterday. Once you click on a thumbnail, clicking the previous or next button 
will take you to the corresponding image.

Good birding!!

Mike Todd
McKenzie, TN
Carroll Co.

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  • » [TN-Bird] Reelfoot and Great River Rd areas; 4/23/05