Rhea Co., TN
Thursday 2/18/16 we were trying to find a better viewing location to see ~150
American White Pelicans first seen by Rick Houlk in the Tennessee River from
the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park. We decided to cross the river leaving Meigs
county and drive over to the Rhea co. side. When we arrived at Garrison
I was scanning across river looking toward Garrison Bluff when I thought I saw
immature Bald Eagle. When I scoped this bird it didn't take long to realize
wasn't a Bald Eagle.
In the trees just below the area where three 18 wheeler type trailers are parked
I saw a bird that made me do a double take. I was looking at a hawk with a
head, very small yellow bill, and a continuation of Rufous bib that extended
quarter way down its breast followed by rufous and white barring. At the time
hawk was facing me and I could also see the smallest sliver of very dark
feathers. I thought "this hawk is going to have the darkest wing feathers I've
seen if it flies." Well, it did fly but I didn't see it. About a minute later
found the hawk again. It was eating what appeared to be a small rodent. It's
was now facing me and I could see very well its dark back feathers and equally
tail. As the hawk turned its head it remained a dark chocolate color.
two and sometimes three very white, possibly feathers, that protruded from its
tips that splayed over the upper tail section. I am convinced that I saw a
hawk adult male light intermediate morph.
The hawk remained with its back to us for the next hour. At times he would
where we could see a small sampling of its breast. Cynthia tried to get photos
hawk was just to far away. A few times I tried using my phone camera to get a
photo but that too was unsuccessful.
Forgot to mention but there was a very small amount of white immediately under
that was visible when the hawk was first facing us.
directions: If you were on the Rhea county side of the old ferry landing and
toward Dayton travel about two or three miles, I think, and turn right. (If
a small bridge where the road zigs and zags sharply you've gone to far). A big
barn will be
on the left as you turned right if you made the correct right turn. Go about
one and a half
miles and look for the sign Garrison Cemetery Rd. on the right. Garrison
Cemetery Rd is a
gravel road, drive to the end of the road and scan across the river.
Jimmy & Cynthia Wilkerson
Hamilton co., TN
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