[TN-Bird] Tiptonville BBS Route

  • From: Bill Pulliam <littlezz@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: TN-Bird Listserv <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 09:00:25 -0500

Yesterday (6/9/2012) I ran the Tiptonville Breeding Bird Survey route in Lake and Obion Counties. The weather was far cooler than in the last two years, with temperature range of 66-78F. Two years ago my STARTING temperature was 81F! This route runs through familiar territory for many TN-birders. It starts on Highway 78 a few miles south of Black Bayou, winds around the south shore of Reelfoot Lake, then heads up into the bluffs east of Samburg, and always yields a good mix of wetland and upland species. The species total for this year was 78 species, tied for 2nd in the all-time records (the route has now been run in 45 out of 47 years since 1966).

Nine species tied or set new record high counts:

-- Canada Goose 17
-- Osprey 3, pair with nesting material at stop 22 (0.5 mile west of Eagle Nest Lodge), a single flying over the watershed lake at stop 26. These stops are only 2 miles apart so I probably will only actually count 2 birds, which is still a record. -- Least Tern 4, only one prior record, a single bird in 2007
-- Mourning Dove 76
-- Common Nighthawk 1, only one prior record in 2007
-- Eastern Kingbird 7
-- Fish Crow 6
-- Cliff Swallow 30, all at the spillway
-- Pine Warbler 1, second record, first in 2007
-- Brown-headed Cowbird 51 (not what you want to see)

Interesting to note than unlike on the middle TN routes I have run this year, there were no record counts for common woodland species.

Some notable low counts and misses:

-- Loggerhead Shrike 0 for 4th consecutive year; once was been regular but missed more often than not since 1990
-- Wood Thrush 0, first time since 1974
-- Brown Thrasher 1, lowest since 1971 (has never been missed)
-- Worm-eating Warbler absent for 3rd year after having been found in 2007 and 2009 -- Prothonotary Warbler 3, not a record low but considerably below recent numbers.
A few other notable birds were:

4 Northern Bobwhites, still holding reduced but steady
1 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, first since 1984
104 Cardinals was not even second best total; they are THICK on this route, especially at dawn near the Lake.

Bill Pulliam
Hohenwald TN
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