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From: tn-bird-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <tn-bird-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> on behalf of
Ruben Stoll <birdchaserrws@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3:09:05 PM
To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [TN-Bird] West Tennessee Meanderings
I got most of last week off from work with the only responsibility being
baby-sitting the family dog, so it was an easy choice for me, of course. Pack
up and go birding and take Flynn along!
I had written up the whole week in detail for Tnbirds and was ready to send
the email when the everything disappeared while I was photographing Kites, so
I’m just gonna post a shorter version.
August 1st, Duck River Unit
The levels on the main lake are still too high for mudflats and pool 1 and 2
levels are back up again so there wasn’t a whole lot going on here. The
highlight was a continuing RUDDY DUCK in pool 1.
August 1st, Paris Landing
Hopefully the lake levels will drop soon, the only Gulls were ringers, about
50 of them, and they were still perched on the Marina roof for lack of anything
better to rest on. Highlight was a PEREGRINE FALCON hunting from the bridge.
August 2nd, Mississippi River, North Treatment Plant
All the pits here were flooded and only a few Killdeer and Least Sandpipers
present. A sandbar has begun to emerge on the main river and was covered in
Least Terns and nothing else.
August 2nd, Mud Island, Shelby County
A WHITE-WINGED DOVE flew over where Flynn and I were watching the river,
coming from the direction of the Wolf River and crossing over the Mississippi
River into Arkansas. I wouldn’t know where to begin if you wanted to refind
this bird, I didn’t see it again.
August 2nd/3rd, Ensley Bottoms
The TVA Lake appears to be history but there was a bit of scattered habitat
in the pits. I probably saw less than 500 shorebirds total with all the pits
combined, only 8 common species. Highlights here were a female PAINTED BUNTING
on the South side of the pits and three WESTERN KINGBIRDS nearby in the
industrial area. The next morning was no better.
August 3rd, HWY 88, Lauderdale County
I drove out a muddy field access road in the highway 88 Bottoms and found a
bit of mud around the Duck blinds here. A hundred shorebirds with the clear
highlight being a great looking RUDDY TURNSTONE in full color.
August 3rd Lauderdale/Dyer line, Great River Road.
Another mud puddle with 500 or so waders and 95 BLACK-NECKED STILTS, only a
small part of the large numbers of these birds seen on the weekend. Also a
dozen STILT SANDPIPERS and a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER here.
August 3rd, Mud Lake
Good habitat with nearly 500 shorebirds but nearly all were Pectoral
Sandpipers and a few other common species and four WESTERN SANDPIPERS were the
nicest birds here.
I crossed the line into Hickman Bottoms to check what Clay Bliznick might be
finding in KYs recently exposed mudflats, but found out that he had jumped ship
and headed for Illinois after a Little Stint report. Fulton County was boring
anyways with only 8 common species of shorebirds, best being Black-necked
I spent the rest of the morning glassing sandbars at Tiptonville and Fritz
Landings. Everything was covered in Least Terns with some even appearing to be
thinking about renesting. I have no idea whether this could be successfull this
late. Either way the season doesn’t appear to be a total bust with a few fresh
Other Terns here were a few CASPIANS, half a dozen FORSTER’S and a basic
plumaged COMMON TERN out from Fritz Landing.
I also had a LARK SPARROW flushed up from the side of the road in Lake
County, which was a treat since I hadn’t seen one since Spring.
I then got word that the Illinois Little Stint was hanging on, so I wrapped
up there and made a quick stop at the Lauderdale/Dyer line (2 LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHERS, 34 STILT SANDPIPERS and one WILSON’S PHALAROPE had dropped in) a
quick stop at the HWY 88 Bottoms (RUDDY TURNSTONE continuing) then stopped by
the house to pick up my car and Daniel Redwine before doing a seven hour
overnight drive to Illinois.
The Little Stint was a beautiful little orange bird in very bright plumage,
and was a lifer for both of us. Now if it does decide to stop by West TN on
it’s way South we’ll be ready for it.
August 5th/6th, Brushy Ridge Rd. Lauderdale County
All the shorebird spots that I had found earlier were mostly dried up and the
birds moved on, so Redwine got to looking at google maps and took us to Brushy
Ridge Road. Here we found some decent mudflats again with nearly a thousand
waders and pelicans and well over a thousand shorebirds. We spent Monday
evening and Tuesday morning slogging the mud and glassing these birds.
Highlights were 55 BLACK-NECKED STILTS, 2 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, 4 STILT
SANDPIPERS and an UPLAND SANDPIPER heard calling at dusk somewhere overhead.
Also four BLACK TERNS were feeding over the lake with Least Terns and four
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS passed through at dusk.
I had about 135 species for the week with 17 being shorebirds. (Not counting
several different ones seen in Illinois). Complete checklists are on ebird.
Good birding, Ruben Stoll, Centerville Tennessee.