Wednesday, July 08, 2015

July 7, Out in the County

June is gone and with it a lot of rain. July has started by drying out. Reece Jamerson, Roy Knispel, Gil Derouen, and I toured, it seemed, every road in the county. And there are a lot of roads. But, we had some good luck and some good looks.

A blue grosbeak right off the bat. Then: geese, female widgeon, swallows galore, green and great blue heron, both vultures and a red-tailed hawk, killdeer, female woodies. We thought we had a Orchard oriole but it ran off and hid well but I think Roy finally got a view. Red-headed woodpecker, two of them, which are always nice and getting harder and harder to find. A summer tanager. Tanagers have this red body that you’d think would be so obvious but they can hide in plain sight. A glimpse of a grasshopper sparrow. Buntings all over the place. A clutch of purple martins.

The day was partly and rather hot. We ate lunch at the Bowmantown Ruritan Park in the company of a neighbor’s chocolate lab. There are some lovely views of the rolling hills of Tennessee out there. The rain has helped green up the fields. Hay is getting cut. Winter wheat is ready to harvest. Tobacco looks bright. If nothing else we had a great day to be out in the country.

 Roy Knispel's picture was from a good distance. Long lenses sometimes just can't quite reach out like you'd want. And the red-headed woodpecker is only about eight inches tall. They were having lunch in a tree trunk that was twenty-feet high but had been topped. We could also see two possible nesting holes but neither bird entered either one. The background light was partly-cloudy. Just one of those hot, summer days in east Tennessee.


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