Beach Shorebirds in East Tennessee?
If you love watching shorebirds, East Tennessee has some of the best “beach” locations to watch for the many species that migrate and nest in the area.
When the high summer lake water levels begin to recede, birding season becomes a bit more fun for birders and photographers in the 9 Lakes Region. Gulls, egrets, pelicans, heron, ospry, plovers, terns, sandpipers, double-crested cormorant and other shorebirds can be seen in flight or skittering across the sandbars and mudflats.
One of the very best locations to see a large variety of shorebirds and waterfowl in late summer is Rankin Bottom WMA at the upper end of Douglas Lake in Newport, TN. When the summer wildflowers are in full bloom, the fall bird migration begins.
During full pool season, fishermen know these shallow waters of Rankin Bottom will produce productive bites for white bass and catfish. As the water recedes, the birds descend on the mudflats to feed on mollusks, tadpoles, insects, and larvae. It is a camera worthy experience made even better at dusk, when the birds are most active.
Bring a camera and your binoculars. For directions and to learn more about the birds that migrate in this area, click here.