|Blue grosbeak. Photo by Jimmy Tucker.|
We kicked off the month of September with our first bird forey to the new Seven Islands State Birding Park. The 425-acre state park is a peninsula of land surrounded on three sides by the French Broad River.
It's also the first park in Tennessee designated as an official birding site with over 180 species that have been documented there over the years. It's also one of the few local sites that have recorded five species of owl: Eastern screech, barred, great horned, barn and Northern saw-whet.
Early September is a quiet time for birds, many stay hidden as they molt into winter plumage. American goldfinches and indigo buntings were common but perhaps the best bird of the outing was several blue grosbeaks—both adult and juveniles—a life bird for a few in the group.
"Blue Grosbeaks occupy early successional habitats such as brushy pastures and abandoned fields with numerous shrubs and saplings. They also occur in brushy hedgerows adjoining hayfields and fields of small grains," writes Charles Nicholson.
And indeed, that's where we found them! Funny how that works.
- Stephen Lyn Bales. Photos by Jimmy Tucker. Thanks, Jimmy!