Sunday, April 03, 2016

April 2 at Fort Patrick Henry Dam

Last Saturday, April 2, Mary Anna Wheat and I ventured up to Fort Patrick Henry Dam in Kingsport to catch a view of the Great egret reported by Glen Eller a couple of days before. No luck on the egret. (In my tongue-tied way I kept saying “greet eggrit.”) We did get lucky in other ways. Mary Anna added three to her count: cormorant, tree swallows, and wood duck. We’d been to Pickens Bridge two weeks before and added cliff swallows for both our lists.

As nice as it was see woodies (and they are very magnificent indeed) we spied a couple of Bald eagles come sailing over the dam and over the lake. Saturday was a bright day and the white of the Bald eagle really stood out. Saturday was also a very windy day and standing on the earthen part of the dam was like standing in front of a wind tunnel at hurricane speeds.

We also had dozens of tree swallows feeding between the bridge and the face of the dam. This spot is a favorite for Great blue heron who have a rookery on the far bank from the parking lot.

The lake is a good spot for cormorant, mallard, heron, grebe, and such. Down stream is catch-as-catch can. Maybe goose and mallard. Maybe woodies. Maybe kingfisher. Maybe night heron. You can search about three-fourths of a mile along the river where there is a landing and then farther on a parking area.

To get to Fort Patrick Henry Dam, take Roan Street north out of Johnson City. Go left at the Y towards Kingsport (versus the right to Bristol). Keep on Hwy 36 until well after crossing I-81 and you’ll cross over the bridge with the dam to your right. There are signs. Not far from here and really a pretty nice place to bird.


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