[TN-Bird] West TN Weekend

  • From: OLCOOT1@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 07:05:36 EDT

July 5-6, 2003
Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, 
Lauderdale, Dyer and Lake Co. TN
Fulton Co. KY

In ever county I visited this weekend (6) in TN I had Eurasian 
Collared-Doves, they are now literally everywhere.

Nesting Black-necked Stilts are holding their own. Out of the young seen last 
week off the Great River Road, one of the pair of older birds is still alive 
and seems healthy and 3 of the 4 small birds are still surviving the Egrets 
that the parents keep frantically try to keep at bay. Late on Saturday, a deer 
brought a young, gangly fawn to drink and it was having a good time playing in 
the water. I have a dark photo showing a Black-necked Stilt trying to herd it 
off but the fawn took it as play. The Black-necked looks to be as big as the 
fawn in the photo;o)

The pair of BNS that lost a nest to the plow, north of 103 highway, may be 
re-nesting, by the behavior of the one bird present. Two young were seen at 
Tiger Tail and a single female seen at mm #6 on the GRR. In KY, after a long 
I finally stirred up a pair of adults acting defensively on a ditch line so 
there are still some youngsters there.

A single sterna tern at 103 highway gave off different signals as to its ID 
but close up photos revealed it to be a slightly molting Common. Least terns 
are enjoying the comforts of new homes on the emerging sandbars on the 

Shorebirds were the reward for searching every nook and cranny. Along the 
GRR, I found Least Sandpipers at 3 locations with the high number being 12 at 
Lake. I also found singles off 79 highway at two pools and a couple of birds 
on the river.
Saturday afternoon, a lucky find was a Willet on the same sandbar that we had 
had a Marbled Godwit in the spring. This is only a little earlier than 
expected for Willet and beats last years early Willet that I found on Island 13 
just one day. 

Island 13 will only be good for short visits by shorebirds and other stop 
over birds for now. At this time there is no food in the new shallows but if 
water holds for a couple of weeks there should be food enough to hold some 
travelers. It appears that this sandbar has again built up even higher during 
flooding this year and that could be a bad omen as the elevated pools will 
probably be drained faster by the falling river. These pools are now over 10 
feet higher than they were years ago as the dikes are now nearly covered. With 
good rains they may retain enough water to be productive. It sure would be nice 
to have them productive again like they once were.

Pectoral Sandpipers showed up as a single off 79 highway and 9 feeding at Mud 
Lake. Also at Mud Lake were 12 Lesser Yellowlegs feeding with 3 Greater. I 
saw 16 Lesser Yellowlegs at White Lake but Criswell reported well over 20 were 
there earlier on Sunday.

Good Birding!!!

Jeff R. Wilson
Bartlett Tenn

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