Trip Report




Rankin Bottoms by Simon Thompson



Venture to Rankin Bottoms

& Douglas Lake

August 24, 2013









Great Blue Heron by Simon Thompson


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!

Black-crowned Night Heron  by Simon Thompson

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.

Simon Thompson


Group at Rankin Bottoms by Simon ThompsonTawny Emperor by Simon Thompson



Birds seen or heard on Day Trip Venture

to Rankin Bottoms

& Douglas Lake

August 24, 2013





Canada Goose
Wood Duck (1)
Wild Turkey
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey (3)
Bald Eagle (1)
Broad-winged Hawk (1)
Red-tailed Hawk
Killdeer (1)
Ring-billed Gull (2)

Black Tern (1)

Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo (H)
Red-eyed Vireo (H)
Blue Jay (H)
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Barn Swallow

Carolina Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird (H)
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler (1)
Common Yellowthroat (1)
Yellow-breasted Chat (1)
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting (2)
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (4)

American Goldfinch


Mammals & Butterflies

Gray Squirrel


Pipevine Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Orange Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Sleepy Orange
Summer Azure
American Snout
Pearl Crescent
Eastern Comma
Red Admiral
Red-spotted Purple
Hackberry Emperor
Tawny Emperor

Silver-spotted Skipper