Monday, February 27, 2012

Chattanooga, Tennessee: day 1

So far, Tennessee has been disappointing: I have yet to see anyone in overalls, or hear banjo music.

Hm...I'm not the first Omega fan in Chattanooga!

Well, that landing in Chicago was interesting.  Now I know whay they call it The Windy City.  I didn't know that the Boeing 757 was designed to land sideways.

"We're safe.  I've locked the trunk. Tom can't get out!"

I was supposed to get up early, today, and bird the back streets behind the hotel before we went to class, but my alarm clock never went off, and my boss woke me up at 07:30 (!). During our lunch break I found two life birds in the parking lot behind Popeye's Fried Chicken: a Carolina Wren (they seem larger, and longer-billed than our Bewick's Wrens) and Carolina Chickadee (beautiful colors).

Carolina Chickadee, Poecile carolinensis

A very nice lady named Carol Fegarido picked me up, and took me to her backyard feeders,

where I photographed House Finches, Chipping Sparrows, Cardinals, more Carolina Chickadees,

Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis 
White-breasted Nuthatches, Slate-colored i.e. Dark-eyed Juncos (our common Junco in California is the Oregon Junco), Downy Woodpeckers, and another lifebird: Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Seen, but not photographed were Red-bellied Woodpeckers and lots of Robins.

Pine Warbler

We then went to Standifer Gap Marsh, where I heard--but did not see--Eastern Meadowlarks. They don't sound like the Eastern Meadowlarks in Arizona (the lillianae that may or may not eventually get slpit off into a separate species one day). There were Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, and a couple of Canada Geese, but no Rusty Blackbirds or Common Grackles.

Then at dusk her friend Susan drove us to Camp Jordan where they saw an American Woodcock while I was staring in the wrong direction.

It was darker than this when the Woodcock flew over the field, and landed in the forest.

That area is around 1 mile on foot from my hotel, so I plan on walking over there, tomorrow afternoon, unless it is raining. I am going to use your info to look for Eastern Towhees, tomorrow, before the rain arrives (the TV weatherman says maybe light rain around 7:00 p.m.)

American Red Squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
These guys are native to the eastern U.S.  They have a relative in the Mountain West called the Douglas Squirrel

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