If you are not birding on the Monday morning Zip Trips with Stephen Zipperer, you’re missing a real opportunity. You’re also missing out on some excellent birding.
On Monday morning, 24 April 2017, Stephen Zipperer, Greg Tomerlin and Geri Tomerlin met at Cedars of Lebanon State Park for the second Zip Trip of the month, then headed east of Lebanon looking for the newest addition to the Wilson County species list, number 205, aka the Long-billed Dowitcher, spotted just the day before by Chris Agee. Mission accomplished! But there’s more. Also milling about among the Blue-winged Teal and dowitchers was another nice surprise, a Dunlin, also known as number 206 on the Wilson County species list. That’s two new species for the county in two days, and the third new species for the county this month. More on that in an upcoming post.
Before leaving the small farm pond, Stephen, Geri and Greg spotted 15 species including: Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Long-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, and Solitary Sandpiper.
For the complete checklist, click here: Trousdale Ferry Farm Pond, Monday, 24 April 2017
After leaving Wilson County’s newest hotspot, the trio headed further east and were treated to a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher just about 3 miles down the road. This spot has been a summer home for the STFC for at least several years, so if you want to see this beautiful bird, you’ll find it here: 36.201109, -86.196066 Scissor-tail Flycatcher Site
Next, the three amigos continued another 2 miles east on Trousdale Ferry Pike hoping to see the wicked little butcher bird, the Loggerhead Shrike. And they were not disappointed. One was seen a day earlier back at the first stop (the farm pond site with the Dunlin) but was a no-show there today. However this third stop of the day has been a consistent location to see the Loggerhead Shrike for the past few years. Look for it on fence posts or telephone lines along the road here: 36.200907, -86.159071 Loggerhead Shrike Site
Checklist for this stretch of road: Trousdale Ferry Pike Route Checklist, 24 April 2017
From there the three doubled back to Tucker’s Crossroads, turned south, crossed over I-40 then turned west on Bluebird Road and eased their way back toward town. The grass fields (wheat?) along the right side of the road look like prime Dickcissel and Grasshopper Sparrow habitat, and in fact are, but neither species was seen there today. There were however several species seen and heard here: Wilson Snipe, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, White-crowned Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, and 19 others.
Click here for the complete checklist: Bluebird Road Route Checkiist, 22 April 2017
Finally, here are a few photos of the Dunlin and Long-billed Dowitchers. Click any image to enlarge it.
Thank you Stephen Zipperer for leading the Zip Trips, and for your pointers on identifying these birds. It’s always fun and informative.