Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Radnor Lake Sate Natural Area
Nashville-Davidson Co, TN
19 October 2011
Eleven birders braved the raw weather (breezy, low gray ceiling, and temperatures in the mid 40's) to attend the last Radnor Lake Wednesday Walk for Fall 2011. Although we did not travel as far or stay as long as we normally do, we did pick up a species we had not previously seen this fall: an AMERICAN WIGEON was spotted among a small group of WOOD DUCKS on the lake. We ran into several flocks of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, which would have been our only Warbler species had it not been for one briefly-seen COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

Thanks to all who participated this Fall, providing their assistance in spotting and identifying the 77 species that we observed on the six walks.

Here's a recap of today's observations:

19 species

Canada Goose  6
Wood Duck  10
American Wigeon  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Downy Woodpecker  4
Northern Flicker  2
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Blue Jay  2
Carolina Chickadee  11
Tufted Titmouse  6
Carolina Wren  7
Eastern Bluebird  1
Gray Catbird  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  16
White-throated Sparrow  3
Northern Cardinal  9
Indigo Bunting  1

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Early on Saturday morning, October 15, birders for the monthly NTOS field trip arrived at the entrance of the Ellington Agricultural Center (EAC) and found that its gate was locked. That morning they learned that the field trip had been inadvertantly scheduled on the date of the EAC's Music and Molasses Festival, which was to begin later in the day, and so all the trails were closed. Plan B was soon formed and pressed into service. Frank Fekel stayed near the EAC entrance for a time to redirect birders, who quickly drove to the east parking lot of nearby Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

Excellent fall weather produced a pleasant three hour walk around Radnor Lake, and 7 birders were able to discover 39 species, including residents, migrants, and winter visitors. Although only 6 species of warblers were found, everyone enjoyed good looks at fall plumaged BAY-BREASTED WARBLERs. Other highlights included YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. The most frustrating sighting was a flock (or perhaps a couple flocks) of ducks that flew above the lake several times and almost directly overhead at one point, but which could never be identified as to species.

The bird list from Radnor Lake follows:

Canada Goose 48
Wood Duck 22
American Wigeon 1
Ring-necked Duck 1
Pied-billed Grebe 4
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 4
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 5
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 7
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 8
Northern Flicker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 6
Carolina Chickadee 12
Tufted Titmouse 7
White-breasted Nuthatch 8
Carolina Wren 11
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 7
Swainson's Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Cedar Waxwing 32
Tennessee Warbler 2
Magnolia Warbler 3
Bay-breasted Warbler 5
Palm Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 22
Black-throated Green Warbler 5
White-throated Sparrow 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 2

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Radnor Lake State Natural Area
Nashville-Davidson County, TN
October 12, 2011

Fall. Fog. Warblers. The combination of these three brought to life the term "Confusing Fall Warblers" this morning for the regular NTOS-sponsored walk at Radnor Lake State Natural Area. In the gray surroundings, we were forced to bird perhaps as we should more often, testing our skills by looking at quantitative shape e.g. bill size and tail length, etc. and flight patterns, rather than by color and the obvious markings. We got better at it. But the improved lighting as the morning progressed may also have been a factor. We still managed to get ELEVEN species of WARBLERS. Once again, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS showed up in large numbers. But perhaps the highlight was a male HOODED WARBLER that flitted low and perched out in the open for a "warbler second" not far from the Long Bridge. We also had a female INDIGO BUNTING near the Spillway. The 250 or so COMMON GRACKLES were flying overhead, a sign that the fog was lifting.

Below is the recap of species observed by the group.

39 species

Canada Goose 18
Wood Duck 37
Blue-winged Teal 96
Northern Shoveler 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Great Blue Heron 2
American Coot 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 8
Northern Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Philadelphia Vireo 2
Carolina Chickadee 6
Tufted Titmouse 9
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Carolina Wren 14
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 1
Swainson's Thrush 4
Gray Catbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 20
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Tennessee Warbler 3
Common Yellowthroat 2
Hooded Warbler 1
American Redstart 2
Magnolia Warbler 9
Bay-breasted Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 6
Black-throated Green Warbler 10
White-throated Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 9
Indigo Bunting 1
Common Grackle 250
American Goldfinch 1

Bird Walk with the Mayor
Oct 8, 2011

In collaboration with Mayor Dean of Nashville and the Metro Parks personnel, NTOS held a bird walk for the public at Shelby Bottoms near downtown Nashville on Saturday, October 8.  Mayor Dean and several of his staff showed up for the walk plus about 40 interested individuals, including several parents with young and enthusiastic children and some NTOS members.  The crowd was divided into several small groups led by NTOS birders Scott Block, Camille Crenshaw, Frank Fekel, Amy Potter, Chris Sloan, Susan Tirrill, and Mary Zimmerman.  Routes through Phase I of Shelby Bottoms varied, and the walk, which began at 7:30 am, lasted 2-3 hours depending on the individual group.

Although much of the time was spent talking about birds and answering questions, the groups did identify a nice variety of birds. Combining lists we found 49 species plus 2 unidentified flycatchers.

There were 10 species of warblers detected with MAGNOLIAs being the most numerous and generally the most accommodating.  Several wintering species showed up such as YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, BROWN CREEPER, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.

Species list and an estimate of the maximum numbers seen by an individual group.

Canada Goose 46
Mallard 3
Double-crested Cormorant 12
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Killdeer 2
Mourning Dove 2
Chimney Swift 10+
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Downy Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker 4
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Empidonax species 2
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 7
Carolina Chickadee 11
Tufted Titmouse 4
Brown Creeper 2
Carolina Wren 4
Eastern Bluebird 4
American Robin 10
Gray Catbird 6
Northern Mockingbird 2
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling   many
Tennessee Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
American Redstart 1
Magnolia Warbler 9
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Yellow-throated Warbler 3
Bay-breasted Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 5
Field Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 7
Indigo Bunting 1-- sang
Common Grackle 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 30
American Goldfinch  2

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Radnor Lake State Natural Area
Nashville-Davidson Co. TN
October 5, 2011

We experienced another good day at Randor Lake for the NTOS-sponsored Wednesday Walk. The weather was splendid, and the birds provided a steady presence in both species and numbers.

Highlights included an immature RED-TAILED HAWK that flew right over us, landing in a branch a short distance from the group. We observed eleven Warbler species. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, which had been missing until this week, made up for their previous absence by their numbers. However, in sheer volume, MAGNOLIA WARBLERS were the winners. A NASHVILLE WARBLER cooperated very nicely in the willows at the Spillway and just as the group had almost returned to the parking lot, we spied an OVENBIRD in plain view walking along the ground.

A fall first for us was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, an indication that migration is well underway, whereas the numerous CHIMNEY SWIFTS flying overhead were a sign that the waning summer is not completely gone.

Here's a list of what we observed:

43 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose  2
Wood Duck  16
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Blue Heron  2
Black Vulture  2
Accipiter sp. 1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Chimney Swift  120
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Downy Woodpecker  4
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Empidonax sp.  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
Philadelphia Vireo  4
Red-eyed Vireo  2
Blue Jay  12
American Crow  1
Carolina Chickadee  7
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  7
Eastern Bluebird  3
Swainson's Thrush  3
American Robin  3
Gray Catbird  2
Cedar Waxwing  13
Ovenbird  1
Black-and-white Warbler  3
Tennessee Warbler  4
Nashville Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  1
American Redstart  6
Magnolia Warbler  16
Bay-breasted Warbler  3
Chestnut-sided Warbler  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler  11
Black-throated Green Warbler  12
Eastern Towhee  3
White-throated Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  1

Kevin Bowden

Great Blue Heron

Monday, October 3, 2011

NTOS Fall Count
The Nashville Fall Bird Count was held on October 1 with 120 species tallied. It was a crisp, beautiful fall day, but the persistent north winds curtailed the bird activity and sent many of them south the previous night. The excitement of the day came at Radnor Lake where the group there saw and heard a possible Black-headed Grosbeak. The identity wasn't 100% confirmed, so it unfortunately won't be added to our list. Signs of wintering birds were evident with 2 Lesser Scaup at Old Hickory Lake, 1 Northern Harrier at Bells Bend Park, 9 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Hermit Thrush at Cheatham Co., 62 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Savannah, Swamp, and White-throated Sparrows. Other highlights included 171 Wild Turkeys (78 at Harpeth West), 6 Osprey and 6 Bald Eagles, all three expected owl species, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers at Percy Priest Lake and Cheatham Co., 2 Sedge Wrens at Shelby Bottoms and Bells Bend Park, 2 Lincoln's Sparrows at Percy Priest Lake, and a late Orchard Oriole at Radnor Lake. Disappointments included no Northern Bobwhites, only 1 Black-crowned Night-Heron at Old Hickory Lake where they are usually numerous, only 1 shorebird species (44 Killdeer), and only 1 Loggerhead Shrike at Percy Priest Lake. Thank you to all observers.

Click here to view the list of species seen by route.