1. Each year Franklin Bird Club members are lucky to enjoy some special walks with very knowledgeable leaders in our area.  Some are a bit off the beaten path and may involve more time but all provide special birding treasures to be discovered.

    Friday, May 26–Jim and Ellen Shelton in the Stecoah area.

    Reported by Ellen Shelton.  Photos by Tim Carstens.

    1. What a difference a day or two makes! This morning was a great day for birding at Stecoah Gap. Jim and I were joined by 12 other birders- Marsha, Dick, Ginger, Mike, Renee, Michael, Romney, Pat, Lewis, Tim, Karen, and Tom. We appreciate everyone being flexible on changing the date, and appreciated the botany lessons from Lewis and Karen along the trail.

      All together we identified 32 species, including a few spotted from the highway between Franklin and Stecoah. I did not include any birds spotted at the BiLo parking lot on this list. The highlight had to be the two juvenile Barred Owls sitting in a fairly open area on a branch. Cute and fluffy!

      Our birds today were:

      Turkey Vulture

      Broad-winged Hawk

      Red-tailed Hawk

      Barred Owl

      Red-bellied Woodpecker

      Pileated Woodpecker

      E Phoebe

      Red-eyed Vireo

      Blue-headed Vireo

      Blue Jay

      Am Crow

      Barn Swallow

      Tufted Titmouse

      Carolina Chickadee

      White-breasted Nuthatch

      Carolina Wren

      Am Robin

      Wood Thrush


      N Parula

      Chestnut-sided Warbler

      Black-throated Blue Warbler

      Blackburnian Warbler

      Black-throated Green Warbler

      Black and White Warbler

      Am Redstart


      Hooded Warbler

      Scarlet Tanager

      Rose-breasted Grosbeak

      Indigo Bunting

      E Towhee

      I’m glad people were willing to make the drive over to Graham County. I think we all felt it was well worth the trip!

    Tuesday, May 16–Jim and Ellen Shelton in the Walnut Gap area.


    1.  Reported by Ellen Shelton.

      Jim and I certainly enjoyed having several of our FBC friends come up to our house this morning, 5/16, for some birding in our neighborhood. Our elevation at about 4300′ gives us some birds that we do not regularly see in Franklin.

      We were joined this morning by Jean, Romney, Rita, Marsha, Sally, Debbie, Renee, Michael, Tim, Peter, and Ross.

      All together we identified 42 species, with most of us getting pretty fine looks at Blackburnian, Canada, and Black-throated blue warblers, as well as the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Downy woodpeckers, and Siskins that come to our feeders, and fairly good looks at a couple of male Scarlet Tanagers.

      The total list of the birds seen and/or heard this morning is:

      Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers, N Flicker (using a nesting cavity in our front yard), E Wood-pewee, E Phoebe, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, Am Crow, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, White-br Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, E Bluebird (using a nest box Jim had installed at the entrance to the neighborhood), Am Robin, Wood Thrush, Veery. Warblers were N Parula, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Black and White, Am Redstart, Ovenbird, Canada, and Hooded. Scarlet Tanager, N Cardinal, Rose-br Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, E Towhee, Chipping and Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Pine Siskin, and Am Goldfinch.

      We always enjoy sharing our neighborhood birds with our friends in the birding community. Thanks for coming up and seeing us.

      Join us for the regular Wed greenway walks, as well!

    May 2–Don Hendershot at Buck Creek Barrens.

    Reported by Ellen Shelton.  Photos by Karen Lawrence.

    Our group consisted of Kevin, George, Jean, Chris, Grent, Ginger, Mike, Sally, Helen, Debbie, Karen, Melinda, Don F, Jim, and Ellen.

    Including the three or four that we saw in the parking lot at K-Mart, we identified by sight and/or sound a total of 53 species this morning, and had good looks at quite a few.

    These included:

    Wood Duck, Turkey Vulture, Mourning, Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, N Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Acadian Flycatcher, E Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, Am Crow, N Rough-winged Swallow, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Am Robin, Wood Thrush, Veery, Gray Catbird, N Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Eu Starling, Cedar Waxwing, N Parula, either a Blue-winged or Golden-winged Warbler (singing the Blue-wing song but without a sighting Don said it could be either, as they have both been known to sing the Blue-wing song), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Black and White, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, N Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, E Towhee, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Am Goldfinch, and House Sparrow!

    In addition, we saw some lovely flowers. Karen’s pictures of the Gay Wings and Indian Paintbrush will be added in another posting.

    Thanks,everyone for joining us today, and a special thanks to Don Hendershot for his great birding skills and for being so flexible on the scheduling. Today was a picture perfect day!

    April 28–38species/14 birders

    John and Cathy Sill  in the Standing Indian area.

    Reported by Ellen Shelton.

    It was a great morning at Standing Indian with Cathy and John Sill leading 12 of us on a birding hunt for migrants. A big thanks to the two of them!

    Our group consisted of Jean H, Rita, Suzanne, Ginger, Mike, Tom, Dee, Marsha,Ned, Dick, Jim, and yours truly here.

    We did a lot of birding by ear, but also had good looks at many of the 38 birds that we identified today. These were-

    Broad-winged Hawk, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpecker, Least Flycatcher, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Am Robin, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Scarlet Tanager, N Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, E Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Am Goldfinch, and a total of 13 (count ‘um!) warblers- N Parula, Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Palm, Black and White, Am Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded, and Yellow-breasted Chat. We watched for many minutes while at least one Blue-winged and one Golden-wing Warbler actively flew through a willow thicket determining who would claim the area for nesting. The winner was yet to be determined when we had to move on.