[TN-Bird] West TN highlights, May 18-20, 2010

  • From: "Scott Somershoe" <Scott.Somershoe@xxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 19:10:25 -0500

Fred Alsop and I led a TWRA bird refresher course around west Tennessee from 
18-20 May starting in Memphis and working our way to the Reelfoot Lake area.  I 
just wanted send out a few highlights.

Shelby Forest State Park, morning of Tues, 18 May:
We found one migrant warbler, a Magnolia 
Ovenbird - 1, it was in the bluffs, breeding or migrating?
Lots of American Redstarts 
Cerulean Warbler - 4
Swainson's Warbler - 2

Ensley Bottoms and Presidents Island area, afternoon of Tues, 18 May:
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - 1
Western Kingbirds - 3
Painted Buntings - 3 (2 adult males and one female with one of the males)
Dickcissels - 50+ at the Pits
Willow Flycatcher - 1
All three peeps (~400 total birds), a few white-rumped sandpipers, and a pair 
of black-necked stilts

Reelfoot NWR - Walnut Log Rd, morning of Wed, 19 May:
migrant warblers were scarce with only one Blackpoll, Magnolia, Blackburnian, 
and Canada found.
Swainson's Warbler - 1
Cerulean Warbler - 1 (local breeding population)

Tiptonville Ferry landing and to the north, afternoon Wed 19 May:
Least Tern - about 30 foraging over the river and over flooded ag fields
Black-necked Stilts on scattered ponds, incl a pair aggressively attacking an 
immature Bald Eagle that landed on "their" high ground.
We also stumbled by accident on a singing Bell's Vireo, which appeared to be on 
territory, west of Reelfoot Lake.  
We found Loggerhead Shrikes in two places.

On Thursday morning it was thundering and pouring and the radar looked bad, so 
we adjourned.  I braved the elements (which ended up being cool air without 
rain!) to check out water levels and look for some other things.  I found a 
singing Wilson's Warbler in willows along the Great River Rd north of Moss 
Island.  Also a late Yellow Warbler singing away by the entrance to Moss Island 
WMA.  A calico, immature Little Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret were in flooded 
fields on Moss Island as well.  A pair of shrikes were at their usual haunt on 
highway 88 south of Moss Island.

We ended up with 122 species, not bad considering we missed a lot of species we 
should have gotten.

I would now like to get the song of the Warbling Vireo out of my head.  We saw 
a few and heard a LOT of them.  I had 7 of them singing away in the cottonwoods 
at the entrance to Moss Island this morning.  

Great birding!
Scott Somershoe

State Ornithologist
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204
615-781-6653 (o)
615-781-6654 (fax)

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  • » [TN-Bird] West TN highlights, May 18-20, 2010 - Scott Somershoe