Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Birding Trip to Tennessee Rest Area!

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail(L)
and Red-spotted Purple(R)
Well we have added a few more to our list and missed a few. Once again we were driving through Tennessee and stopped off at the rest area at mile marker 267. This rest area has trees everywhere and a river flowing along it. There wasn't much to see down by the river except butterflies.

Question Mark

Female Orchard Oriole
We headed for an open field lined with trees on both sides, but before we got over there we saw a yellow bird fly into the tree in front of us. We looked and waited patiently for this yellow bird to show itself and then we saw it fly out of the tree. We figured it might come back so we waited in the area and sure3 enough it came back! We spotted it and saw a female Orchard Oriole and a nest. We then moved over to the line of trees and saw tones of American Robins and Common Grackles. Most of the Grackles we saw had nesting material in their beaks or feet.

Then we spotted a warbler up in this tree, but couldn't seem to ever get a clear picture of this bird. This warbler kept flying from treetop to treetop and we just couldn't get a clear shot of him/her.

Baltimore Oriole

Then I spotted a Baltimore Oriole perched on a bare tree branch on the treetop. Only got a few shots of it before he flew away. Another bird of our big year!

Indigo Bunting 

Next, I also spotted another bird near the ground perched on a low branch. We both started snapping photos and then realized once it flew away that we both had our cameras set to high and they were too dark. But I did manage to lighten them up and got a good enough photo to identify; Indigo Bunting. Another new bird for the year!

Third, I thought I saw the brightest Northern Cardinal ever, but instead it was a Summer Tanager! New lifer! What a bright bird! He was making calls, very neat to watch.

On our way back to the truck we came across mother Killdeer and her two young Killdeer babies! They are the cutest thing ever! She was tries to act like she has a broke wing; Killdeers do this when they have eggs or young so prey will go after the adult instead of the young. We snapped a few pictures and left her and the young alone.

Killdeer Chick

We now have 253 species this year! Happy Birding!!

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