Members of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and Discover Birds volunteers enjoyed the company of ten members of the Webelos Den Pack 73 in Norris, Tennessee, and leaders and parents, on our birding field trip to Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, Tennessee, November 9th.
Above, Tom Howe, our field trip leader and Discover Birds volunteer, passes out binoculars to those who don't have them and gives a quick lesson to the pack members about how to find birds with their binoculars. "Keep your eyes on the bird and raise your binoculars up to your eyes," he suggests. This helps prevent losing the bird because you've looked away.
Everybody got a chance to use this information right away to view the flock of Cedar Waxwings perched in the tops of the tree limbs in the parking lot.secondary wing feathers, the blunt feathers on the wing that are closer to the body.
Above and below, you can see the yellowish belly and the yellow tail tips of the Cedar Waxwing. You can also see those red wing tips on the image below (taken in my back yard several years ago). This Cedar Waxwing was eating holly berries. Cedar Waxwings love berries!
More Cedar Waxwings flew in and gathered on the cedar tree next to the parking lot to feed on the blue cedar berries.
From the parking lot we walked across a mowed lawn to an area where grasses grew high and were mixed with shrubs, like black berries. This is a favorite habitat or place to feed and hide for small birds that eat seeds, like sparrows and finches.
Field Sparrow perched high enough for us to get a quick look. This is a small brownish bird with a pale grayish breast and pink bill that lives in Tennessee year around.
American Woodcock that we flushed when we approached. Woodcocks are similiar to shorebirds except that they live in wet forests and wet grassy areas and probe the mud with their bills.
American Woodcock Photo credit: Mike Nelson
The picture of the woodcock above was taken in the spring. All those spots and streaks of brown and gray on his back and head camoflage him, making him blend right into the forest floor or this brown, wet grassy area where we found him at Cove Lake.
We came across another shrubby, grassy area and watched for sparrows and finches. Jerry Ledbetter tries to get his scope on one of the birds, above. There was lots of movement in the grasses. The birds we saw and heard the most here were Song Sparrows that were jumping around and chasing each other. They are brownish with a streaked breast. Click the Song Sparrow link and listen to their song. We can sometimes hear these birds singing in our backyards.
A Song Sparrow, above.
Discover Birds Activity Books donated by KTOS for all the members of the pack.
KTOS (Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society)
KTOS on Facebook
Tennessee Ornithological Society
Cove Lake State Park