- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stephen Lyn Bales, editor

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Juvenile red-headed woodpecker still at Ijams

UPDATE: The juvenile red-headed woodpecker reported in the last post was still in the trees that surround the parking lot at the Visitor Center yesterday.

Sammi, Paul and others reported seeing it.

Come on down!

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seven species of woodpecker (a record) found at Ijams

Notice the white secondary feathers beginning to come in
to form the  triangle on the back.

This is the kind of thing that makes birders quiver. 

Last Saturday, John O'Barr, Jay Sturner and Jimmy Tucker found seven species of woodpecker in one and a half hours at Ijams.

Five species live at Ijams year round: the downy, hairy, red-bellied and pileated woodpeckers, plus the northern flicker. In winter the yellow-bellied sapsucker joins them. 

But, that's only six.

The seventh was the surprise. The triumvirate of birders spotted a juvenile red-headed woodpecker in the Ijams parking lot, the first ever documented during the modern era. H.P. Ijams may have seen them but today it's a species common on the Cumberland Plateau, but only rarely seen in the valley

John managed to get a photo. "Not a great pic, the lighting was terrible, and he didn't show himself too well before he flew away," he emailed. 

But, any photo that documents this species at the nature center is a memorable photo.

Great job!

- Stephen Lyn Bales

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ijams Hiking Club kicks off 2015 season with Bluff Trail outing

The Ijams Hiking Club went on its first outing of 2015 last Saturday. Our group leader Eric Johnson lead us along a section of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness: South Loop. 

The group meets once a month with a goal of hiking all the trails at Ijams and the rest of the urban wilderness.

This time out, we focused on the Dozer and Bluff Trails on the east side of Forks-of-the-River Wildlife Management Area. Bluff Trail is spectacular, little more than a goat trail that hugs the cliff overlooking Sea Ray Island along the French Broad River just upstream from where the Tennessee River begins.

Our next hike will be somewhere in the urban wilderness on Saturday, February 7 at 2 p.m. To register call (865) 577-4717. ext. 110.

-Stephen Lyn Bales  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whoodee who, Ijams Owl Prowl set for this Friday evening

Last week, the Ijams great horned owl granted its first TV interview of the New Year to WBIR Channel 10's Live@5@4 effervescent reporter Emily Stroud.

The two talked about upcoming birding programs at the nature center like the Owl Prowl this Friday evening at 6 p.m.

At Ijams the great horned owls that live around Mead's Quarry Lake are probably already on the nest.

Jennifer Roder and Sammi Stoklosa will the the hosts for the evening program.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cove Lake proves to be cold lake, but birds didn't mind

Horned grebe. Photo by Jason Dykes. 

The last Ijams Birding & Brunch on-the-go of 2014 was to Cove Lake in search of waterfowl. So, perhaps it was apropos that the weather turned foul. 

White-throated sparrow. Photo by J. Dykes.
So, it proved to "bundled for birds and brunch." And the birds: ducks, grebes, coots did not disappoint, they ignore the cold, feathers make great insulation. 

American coots. Photo by Jason Dykes.
Highlights were a lone horned grebe, hooded mergansers, American coots and plenty of gadwalls. 

 The New Year will see more Birding & Breakfast Club adventures, almost always on the second Saturday of the month. 

Hooded merganser. Photo by Jason Dykes.
The first is Saturday, January 10, an indoor chat about "Winter Birds." 

Plus, Peg will supply breakfast at Ijams.

And then on February 14: a roadshow brunch to Hiwassee to look for cranes and eagles.