Spring Picnic & Birding Expedition – Saturday, 20 May 2017

cookout artThe John W. Sellars – Lebanon Chapter of TOS is having a cookout on Saturday, 20 May 2017 at shelter #4 in Cedars of Lebanon State Park. We are also planning to shuttle, or carpool, folks to see some of Wilson County’s birding hotspots, like the scissor tailed flycatcher site, and the grasshopper sparrow & lark sparrow site. Be at the Nature Center parking lot no later than 7:30 AM to join in on the early morning birding action.

scissor tailed flycatcherFor the cookout, please bring whatever meat you wish to eat, and a side dish. We’ll have grills going so unless you’re bringing a pot roast, bring it raw. And if you plan on coming, please complete the online form and let us know how many will be in your party and what side dish you’re bringing. We’re hoping to avoid a dozen different kinds of potato salad and one cherry pie, so the list will be posted here on the website as it develops. The sign-up form is here:


lark sparrowThe plan is to fire up the grills at 11:00 AM or so, and we’ll eat about 11:30.

Shelter #4 is located on the right side of WPA Road near the Cedar Forest Lodge. If you are facing the Cedar Forest Lodge from the road, Shelter #4 is off to the right back in the trees. The gravel road leading to the 2-mile running trail runs right by Shelter 4.

Side dishes will be:

  • Pasta salad
  • Bean Salad
  • Cornbread Salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Israeli Couscous Apple/Cranberry Salad
  • Deviled Eggs

Desserts will be:

  • Chocolate Cake
  • Cookies
  • ?

We look forward to seeing you Saturday morning for some fun birding and the picnic. Please join us if you can, and bring a friend too.


Posted in Announcement | Tagged , , , ,

Zip Trip #2 Adds New Species For Wilson County

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.


Posted in Birding Field Trip, Photos, Stephen's Zip Trips