Monday, November 21, 2011

Benton and Henry Counties, TN
Saturday, 2011 Nov. 19
8:30am-4:15 pm

Fifteen birders, including David Kirschke from East Tennessee, enjoyed the NTOS sponsored trip to Pace Point and the Britton Ford areas around Kentucky Lake. The weather was surprisingly warm and conditions were reasonably good for viewing during most of the day. Highlights began even before we reached the town of Big Sandy. The group stopped at a spot on Lower Big Sandy Road and had nice views of a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE. At Big Sandy we joined forces with several additional birders and headed toward Pace Point. A stop at Lick Creek resulted in several BALD EAGLEs and two distant HORNED LARKs. Bennett's Creek Overlook produced its usual flotilla of MALLARDs plus several other duck species. A NORTHERN HARRIER and a flyover, calling AMERICAN PIPIT added additional spice to our list. The cove area just short of Pace Point produced a RED-NECKED GREBE that spent a good deal of time diving and so unfortunately, was observed by only a few of our group. At the Point the highlight was several COMMON GOLDENEYEs. On our way to Rocky Point we got close up views of a number of HOODED MERGANSERs plus a female WOOD DUCK at a small pond. Eating lunch on the run, the afternoon was spent on the Britton Ford side of Kentucky Lake where we got several new duck species, including BLACK DUCK, REDHEAD, and CANVASBACK, and added a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER that spent much of the time trying to sleep and avoid identification. A brief foray to Eagle Creek produced a raft of 83 PIED-BILLED GREBEs and a lone AMERICAN EGRET. We finished the outing at Paris Landing State Park, where the wind substantially increased, making viewing difficult. Everyone enjoyed the RED-HEADED WOODPECKER found in the picnic area. At the end of a long but satisfying day we had tallied ~63 species.

Totals are very approximate and representative at best for most species:

Canada Geese 25
Wood Duck 1
Gadwall 65
Am. Wigeon 3
Am. Black Duck 9
Mallard hundreds if not a thousand or more
N. Shoveler 2
N. Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 4
Canvasback 5
Redhead 20
Ring-necked Duck 2
Lesser Scaup 100
White-winged Scoter 1
Bufflehead 40
Common Goldeneye 4
Hooded Merganser 24
Ruddy Duck several hundred
Common Loon 12
Pied-billed Grebe 135
Horned Grebe 20
Red-necked Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 30
Great Egret 1
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 4
Bald Eagle 6
N. Harrier 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Am. Kestrel 1
Am. Coot several hundred
Killdeer 11
Bonaparte's Gull 6
Ring-billed Gull 90
Herring Gull 15
Mourning Dove 1
Red-headed Woodpecker 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downey Woodpecker 1
N. Flicker 3
Loggerhead Shrike 1
Blue Jay 2
Am. Crow 50
Horned Lark 9
Carolina Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
E. Bluebird 6
Am. Robin 3
Am Pipit 1 calling and flyover
E. Towhee 2
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 3
White-throated Sparrow 3
Dark-eyed Junco 6
N. Cardinal 4
E. Meadowlark 2
Am. Goldfinch 4

Frank Fekel
Nashville TOS Field Trip leader