Saturday, 1 October 2016


I recently returned from an enjoyable trip to Tennessee. 

Magnolia tree

Magnolia tree

Common buckeye butterflies were a lot more common down here.

Common Buckeye, Shelby county Tennessee

While watching the buckeyes in a parking lot, I noticed a group of vultures soaring overhead.  The light wing tips identified them as black vultures, a new species for me.  Occasionally they are reported in Ontario, but down here they are just as common as the turkey vultures.

Black Vultures, Shelby county Tennessee

Black Vulture, Shelby county Tennessee
Another bird highlight was coming across a fully coloured male summer tanager.  My photos are zoomed as far as I could and cropped so they are not as clear as they could be. 

Interestingly, unlike the scarlet tanager who turns to a dull coloured winter plumage, the male summer tanager remains brightly coloured year round.

Summer Tanager, Fayette County Tennessee

Summer Tanager, Fayette county Tennessee
 Another bird highlight was hearing the nasal calls of the fish crow one morning.

I also saw many familiar species.
Northern Mockingbird, Fayette county Tennessee

Magnolia Warbler, Fayette county Tennessee

Brown Thrasher, Fayette county Tennessee
I had the opportunity to taste the fruit of this persimmon tree. 
Persimmon tree , Tennessee
Our Tennessee visit was right around the time of cotton harvest.
Cotton field, Tennessee

On the way home we toured through the Great Smoky Mountains .

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains

American Crow, Great Smoky Mountains
American Crow, Great Smoky Mountains  

Another stop on the way home was at Seven Islands State Birding Park.  I was hoping for a northern bobwhite, but none showed themselves. I did get several lifer butterflies and saw another five lined skink.  Much better views this time.
Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee

Five-Lined Skink, Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee
Gulf Fritillary, Fayette county Tennessee

American Snout Butterfly, Seven Islands State Birding Park,Tennessee
Pipevine Swallowtail, Seven Islands State Birding Park,Tennessee


  1. Cool stuff! I have never been to Tennessee.

  2. There are some fabulous areas in that part of the US, and Tennessee has its share. Glad you were able to enjoy it. The smokies are a superb trip in itself, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway portion. Ahhh....lots of memories!

    1. Thanks Allen. The smokies were definitely worth it. We had hoped to spend more time there but the rain and wind ended up changing our plans.