[TN-Bird] Weekend Runabout part II

  • From: OLCOOT1@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 08:32:20 EDT

Aug. 30-31, September 1, 2003
Central Ark. and West TN
My final weekend species total hit 134 with a Common Nighthawk flying over a 
shopping center near my home after the long trip. We had gotten Roly Lloyd's 
list taken care of before we were halfway through the 3 day weekend and gleaned 
a lot of other goodies in the process. We checked off Upland Sandpiper, 
Roseate Spoonbill, Golden-Plover, White Ibis, Piping Plover and last but not 
Wood Storks for a very successful Aussie Runabout and had great looks at many 
other great birds mentioned below. 

We spent less than 2 hours in pursuit of woodland birds over the 3 days, 
mainly because they were as hard to come by as they could be. The final talley 
included 9 species of egrets and herons, including an immature Tri-colored 
at White Lake Refuge and both Night-Herons. Seventy White Pelicans finally 
made an appearance when Nancy Moore and I made a brief visit to Island 13 after 
Roly had started on his long journey back to Cincinnati.  

Eight species of waterfowl were seen while we missed the Ruddy Ducks that 
over summered at Reelfoot but just would not be found. The usual, but brief, 
early movement of Pintail Ducks was noted at all water habitat visited. Only 
species of raptors were seen, including 8 Cooper's in 3 days. 

The species total on shorebirds hit 24 with single immature Short-billed 
Dowitcher seen at White Lake Refuge and Everett's Lake in Dyer Co. late Monday 
afternoon plus Black-bellied Plover at 3 locations, Golden-Plovers at 2 
locations, Semipalmated Plovers at every stop and 3 Piping Plovers in view at 
one time, 
courtesy of Kenny and LaDonna Nichols. Killdeer were seen in good numbers at 
every location plus all the fields in between. Black-necked Stilts and young 
are now found around every corner and the Avocets were as stunning as ever. 

Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs were recorded in good numbers with Solitary and 
Spotted sprinkled about. All those regulars were spiced up by crippling views 
of Upland Sandpipers at 2 locations in TN and Ark and a Marbled Godwit making 
like a duck while sleeping and blending in quite well with the Blue-winged 
Teal at Bald Knob NWR. Semipalmated, Western, Least and Pectorals were the base 
birds at all locations with Baird's and Sanderling playing hard to get but 
there if you paid attention. All the Sanderling seen at Ensley and Island 13 
molting adults. Stilt Sandpipers were spread around but Long-billed 
Dowitchers were only seen at two locations but in numbers, while Short-billed 
were seen as singles, also at two locations. Super close, frame filling views 
of immature Buff-breasted and Baird's Sandpipers at the pits and Island 13 
were near heart stoppers. Wilson's Phalaropes, all immatures, were seen at 3 

Ring-billed Gulls, Caspian, Common, Forster's, and Least Terns were just 
barely out done by 40+ Black Terms that danced over the Mississippi River 
yesterday afternoon.

Flycatchers types were moving through (8 species) with a Yellow-bellied an 
unexpected bird at Ensley but we missed Olive-sided even after looking at every 
dead snag along hundreds of miles of back roads. Large flocks of Eastern 
Kingbirds were seen flycatching all across the area. Purple Martins and all the 
regular swallows made the list but only 7 warbler species were to be seen with 
the last two picked up on the bluff at Porter's Gap in Lauderdale Co. late 
Monday. Only two sparrow species and no orioles made the list.

Shorebirds and other waders were the prime targets for the weekend and we 
were successful in those categories plus we dodged all the rainstorms during 
birding hours over the weekend. 

Good Birding!!!

Jeff R. Wilson
Bartlett, TN

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