Venture to Rankin Bottoms
& Douglas Lake
August 24, 2013
We met at the Pilot Truck stop in Waynesville and car-pooled over to Newport, TN where our birding started along the banks of the French Broad River. We were greeted with a small flock of migrants, including several Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Wood-Pewee and a very obliging male Prothonotary Warbler – the bird of the trip for many of us. Several Osprey flew over calling and an adult Bald Eagle greeted us as we walked along the path down to the Rankin Bottoms overlook. Despite the lack of mud (and subsequent lack of shorebirds) we decided that this was a great place for lunch, even if the seating was a little hard!
A couple of Ring-billed Gulls seemed early and some of us had a fly-by view of a transient Black Tern, which alas soon vanished over the broad expanse of water.
After several other waterside stops, we ended the day at the outflow of Douglas Dam where we had remarkable views of both Great Blue and Black-crowned Night-Herons fishing like Cormorants on stunned fish below the dam; quite a sight and a very nice insight into learning bird behavior.
This Venture to Rankin Bottoms, Tennessee was a well-supported event which all participants thoroughly enjoyed and will undoubtedly become a staple on our calendar.