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Posts tagged ‘Cumberland County TN’

Photographs of Bufflehead Ducks From Last Winter

Bufflehead Ducks are Winter visitors here on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.  I took these pictures  last Winter (2011) at the Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, TN, and also on Lake Tansi, an area near Crossville, TN.  The Bufflehead Ducks are my favorite ducks.  They are wary of people.  They are also difficult for me to take pictures of.  They tend to congregate in remote spots on the lakes.

The drake is the  one with white and dark iridescent  purplish-black, and flashes of green.  The hen is charcoal grey with beige and white accents.  The genders mirror each other in color.  They are diving ducks and eat smaller aquatic animals.  The drake can raise the white feathers on its head at times.  These small ducks migrate here for the Winter from way up North in the Mid-western U.S. and also in Canada.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Flock of Wood Ducks Arrives at the Farm Pond

Wood Ducks came to call on April 21, 2012.  This is the first time I have seen a flock here.  Usually I see four or five but more likely just a trio.  The big flock was a pleasant surprise.  Notice that most of these ducks are drakes or males.  The drakes are the colorful ones with brown, green, orange, blue, black, white and red feathers.  A walking rainbow!  The hens are cocoa brown and white with black accents.  Both are smaller ducks.  They whistle-quack.  They nest in trees and have long toenails on webbed feet.  Wood Ducks like eating insects both aquatic and land-based.  They are very shy ducks and live in our area of Cumberland County, TN, year around.  I am very happy to have seen these beautiful ducks!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

A Wild Turkey Sighting

Two days ago when out for a Sunday drive in the hinterlands of our community here in Cumberland County, TN, I spotted a Wild Turkey.  The Turkey was just at the side of an infrequently travelled road where there were no houses at all.  The hen Turkey was just walking around in the brush in a thicket of Oaks.  Wild Turkeys are not often seen here in my community but I have seen them on three occasions in the past two years.  Wild Turkeys eat grains, seeds, berries, acorns, some insects, and surprisingly, salamanders.  I was not aware the Turkeys ate salamanders until I checked out the article on Wild Turkeys on the Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife Internet site.  That fact about Turkeys eating salamanders is an interesting fact.  Not that there are many salamanders in my area for the giant birds to eat.  This hen Turkey is typical of the coloring and look of female Wild Turkeys.  The males are slightly larger and have a larger blue head, a hanging wattle of skin and a feathered beard.  I took the pictures from my car window on 3-27-11 in the mid-afternoon.   Unfortunately there was a lot of grass and brush in the way  that partially obscured the view of the Turkey.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo. Enjoy!

A Look at Some White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer were out eating in several neighborhoods on the other side of the community where I live in Cumberland County, TN.  It is very rare that Deer come around my own neighborhood here on the lake.  I think I have heard of the Deer coming to the lake to drink on two occasions.  The last time the Deer were here was about a year ago.   That Deer sighting was down the street quite a ways away from my house.  Yesterday we went for a Sunday afternoon drive on a foggy and cold afternoon.  We saw a grand total of twelve White-tailed Deer.  All of the Deer were munching happily on grass, either on home lawns or on the edge of the road.  All of these Deer were  in the neighborhood that is located near a local golf course.  So, there was a lot of tasty tender Spring grass for the Deer to enjoy.  The largest herd of Deer we saw was a group of six individuals.  I was overjoyed to be able to see these White-tailed Deer and get the pictures yesterday.  By the way, hunting is not allowed here in the community proper.  We are fairly close to a wildlife management area where hunting is allowed though.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A solitary Common Loon came by the dock this morning.  I was very happy to have spotted it.  One had been here last week but I did not get to see it.  I saw a Common Loon on a few occasions last spring.  The call of the Loon is something distinctive and it sounds like a trilling sort of semi-yodel.  This information about the Common Loon mostly came from the TN Dept. of Wildlife Resources site called “Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife”.  I have put the URL address for this nice web site on my blog link list at right.  These water birds are residents up North and in the Eastern fresh water lakes, ponds, and rivers.  There is a different Loon that lives in the Western states, the Pacific Loon (I have never seen one and I used to live in California).  The Common Loon is black with white speckles in a more-or-less checkerboard pattern of feathers on its back.  It has a sloped head and a long, powerfully slender and sharp bill.  The Common Loon is a fish eater.  These birds do not nest in Tennessee at all and are just late Winter and spring visitors to the lake here in Cumberland County, TN.  I took these pictures today, March 25, 2011 from my deck.  PLease click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

A Small Group of Ring-necked Ducks Visits

Ring-necked Ducks have been here on our  private community lake in Cumberland County, TN, several times this Winter.  I am not sure if these are among a group of Ring-necked Ducks that had been here last month.  It is possible that the Ring-necked Ducks may be visiting several different nearby lakes and coming and going between them.  Who knows?   Even though I only counted nine Ring-necked Ducks in this group, it may be that there were other Ring-necked Ducks on our lake that I couldn’t  see.

The male or drake is the one with the black and white feathers.  The female or hen, is brown with a darker brown on her back.  Both genders has a white ring around their bill.  The female can be confused with similar looking Lesser Scaup Ducks, Red-Head Ducks,  and with Ruddy Ducks if the viewer is not being careful.  All have similar body coloring.  The Ring-necked Duck is a diving duck and loves eating aquatic plants, and  small aquatic animals.  I took these pictures yesterday, March 21, 2011.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Flock of American White Pelicans Comes to Call

American White Pelicans are rarely seen in Cumberland County, TN.  The small flock of about fifteen big white birds came to visit this morning on our 101 acre private community lake!  What a wonderful sight!  The American White Pelican usually lives in the upper Mid-west and prairie states with some also living in the West.  These large water birds live in lakes and along marshes in larger rivers.  They winter along the Gulf of Mexico with many in Florida.  When seen in Tennessee, the American White Pelicans are usually found in the Western section of Tennessee, closer to the Mississippi River.

The American Pelican uses its bill to scoop up fish from shallow depths.  They do not dive like the Brown Pelicans do.  The American White Pelican will eat fish, and small aquatic animals such as Crayfish or Frogs.  They also hunt cooperatively at times and will encircle fish by gathering together.  The American White Pelicans usually have very large flocks.  The group here on the lake may just be an advance scout group or simply strayed from the big flock. In any event I think that the American White Pelicans are very interesting birds!  I was thrilled to get a glimpse of these spectacular visitors!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

If possible, please consider making a charitable donation to the Red Cross for the Japanese Disaster Relief Effort.  Donations may be made through your local Red Cross Chapter or online.  Many thanks!

A Cooper’s Hawk Visits the Shoreline of the Lake

This Cooper’s Hawk has been occasionally frequenting the large Oaks and Hickory Trees along the shoreline of the 101 acre private community lake here in Cumberland County, TN.  I have been told that The Cooper’s Hawk was here a week ago, but I did not see the hawk then.  I took these pictures from my window yesterday (3/3/11) at about 4:45 PM.  An adult Cooper’s Hawk is the size of large crow and really may look larger due to its winter feathers.  The young  Cooper’s Hawk will have yellowish eyes, while the adult Cooper’s Hawk has red eyes.  From the looks of the large feet, that bird has powerful claws and carrying power!  The Cooper’s Hawk  mostly eats songbirds, and is known to hunt near bird feeder stations.  My backyard certainly has some unique visitors.  There almost is never a dull moment here on the lake!  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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