March, 17th, 2018
Victor and I had 105 species at Pickwick Lake, Savannah Bottoms, and
Coffee Landing Road (All in Hardin County) this forenoon. We weren't trying
for a Big Day at all, but got quite a few unexpected bonus birds early on,
so by noon we decided to add on the Busseltown Unit and Duck River Unit
TNWR and go for as many species as we could.
Highlights from the Pickwick area included a beautiful pair of
LONG-TAILED DUCKS at the dam, nearly in full breeding colors, a State high
count of 10 adult RED-THROATED LOONS at Bruton Branch, a fairly distant
PACIFIC LOON seen up the lake from the dam, a very handsome young light
morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK hunting over the weedy owl-fields at Shiloh Shores,
8 species of shorebirds at Coffee Landing Road, including FOS SOLITARY
SANDPIPER (1) LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER(2) and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER(14)
continuing first cycle GLAUCOUS GULL below the dam with a handful of
Herring Gulls, good numbers of FISH CROWS and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES, FOS
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, and in Savannah Bottoms a very cooperative MERLIN,
many VESPER SPARROWS and a single BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, (flyover,
At noon we stopped by the Busseltown Unit TNWR for a few minutes and
added a few dabblers and LECONTE'S SPARROW (8).
At the Duck River Unit we found quite a few of the expected odds and ends
that we had missed in the morning, as well as a nice bunch of shorebirds
along Refuge Road that apparently arrived overnight, including 8 American
Golden Plover, 30 Greater Yellowlegs, 50 Lesser Yellowlegs, 250 Pectoral
and 1 Least Sandpiper, and 2 Long-billed Dowitchers.
On the way home from the refuge after dark we had a calling BARN OWL,
calling immature GREAT HORNED OWL, and AMERICAN WOODCOCK. The Woodcock was
shorebird species #10 and number 126 for the day overall.
We missed the Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Surf Scoter that were
visible from the Pump Station because all we could see was a
heat-shimmering mass of hundreds of diving ducks. 30 minutes of staring
didn't help much. (We did get Ring-necked Duck here, flyover). We also
missed Belted Kingfisher.
Here is a species list;
American Black Duck
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
American Golden Plover
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Ruben Stoll, Centerville TN