Eastern Bluebird by Deb Campbell

Eastern Bluebird

Photo by Debi Campbell

Bristol Bird Club

The Bristol Bird Club – J Wallace Chapter TOS / VSO

The Bristol Bird Club was founded in Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia (USA) in March 1950 to promote the enjoyment, scientific study and conservation of wild birds.

We generally meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. We have both in-person meetings and a Zoom Video option. Our meeting place is in the Ascent Room of The Summit at 1227 Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, TN. The Zoom invitations are emailed to members or guests who request a link.

Our members are from a large area in Virginia and Tennessee. Everyone is welcome to join.

Regular activities include monthly field trips, an annual picnic, banquet and Christmas Party. Additionally, we sponsor three Christmas Bird Counts annually (Bristol, TN/VA; Glade Spring, VA; and Shady Valley/Mountain City, TN). We also sponsor an email listserv called Bristol-Birds that you may join to receive info on recent sightings. To join free listserv, visit https://www.freelists.org/list/bristol-birds and enter your email address next to “User Options: Your email address:”. To finish the process, make sure the action is set to Subscribe and click Go.

If you have questions or would like to participate in one of the aforementioned Christmas Bird Counts, send us an email at: BristolBirdClub2022@gmail.com

Our Team

2024/2025

  • President : Debi Campbell
    dberry@btes.tv

  • First Vice President:  Michele Galijour Sparks
    redknot620@gmail.com

  • Second Vice President: Larry McDaniel
    larrycmcd@hotmail.com

  • Secretary: Judy Moose
    judymoose@embarqmail.com

  • Treasurer: Anne Cowan

  • Media: Rob Biller
    xyon42@gmail.com

Bristol Chapter Outing, Photo by Michele Sparks

Jacob's Nature Park - Johnson City, TN

Photo by Michele Sparks

About

The Bristol Bird Club is part of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and an affiliate member of the Virginia Society of Ornithology. The club is a nonprofit organization under the auspices of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. The purpose of the Bristol Bird Club is to foster and support scientific study, enjoyment, and conservation of wild birds, including educational activities and to promote fellowship among the membership. The chapter name of the Bristol Bird Club is the J Wallace Coffey Chapter.  J Wallace Coffey was a vital member of the club for most of his life.  He dedicated his life to the conservation and record keeping of wild birds in the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and was the heartbeat of the club for many decades.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Photo by Ryan Rice

Upcoming Birding Opportunities

More Birding Opportunities Coming Soon!

Membership

The period for 2023 membership dues for the Bristol Bird Club is from late fall through the end of February. Dues owed to the TOS are sent by March 31 of each year (TOS membership is $18 per year for single memberships and $22 for family memberships).  Ten dollars per year goes to our local (BBC) chapter.  The membership fees are for one year, January 1 through December 31.

BBC membership rates including TOS membership:

  • Family $32
  • Individual: $28
  • Sustaining: $40
  • Associate: $10
  • Student (K-12): $15
  • Individual Life: $450 (TOS only)

Please make checks payable to the Bristol Bird Club and send to the BBC Treasurer. You can pay at meetings January – February, but no later than March 15.

Brenda Richards
160 Milden Hall Road
Blountville, TN. 37617

Please include your name, mailing address, phone, and email and make checks payable to the Bristol Bird Club and send your fees to the BBC Treasurer.  You may pay at meetings or mail them to the address given above.

Bristoll Shady Valley Field Trip

Orchard Bog - Shady Valley, TN

Photo by Michele Sparks

Bristoll Shady Valley Field Trip

Orchard Bog - Shady Valley, TN

Photo by Michele Sparks

Contact Us

Debi Campbell, Club President

If you have membership questions, email us at: BristolBirdClub2022@gmail.com 

If you have specific bird questions you may contact Larry McDaniel ( larrycmcd@hotmail.com ) or Rob Biller ( xyon42@gmail.com )

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Photo by Debi Campbell

Field Trip Results

Panhandle Road *zero hour* Birding Report – 5-11-24

Five birders (Rick Knight, Larry McDaniel, David Kirschke, Tom Blevins, Linda Moulton) joined me to venture up Panhandle Road on Saturday, May 11. It was a slow start with not many birds singing at Blue Hole. The next couple of stops were slow as well because of the extra water in the creek coming down the mountain. Once we got above the creek noise, we started hearing and seeing many good birds.

Our list was broken into 3 segments.
1st segment was from the start of Panhandle Road to Blue Hole: (Carter County)
Chimney Swift  3
Acadian Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  2
Red-eyed Vireo  1
American Crow  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
Barn Swallow  3
House Wren  1
Carolina Wren  1
European Starling  3
Northern Mockingbird  1
House Sparrow  1
House Finch  2
Chipping Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  2
Eastern Meadowlark  1
Worm-eating Warbler  1
Hooded Warbler  1
Black-throated Blue Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal  1
The 2nd segment was from Blue Hole to the top of the mountain (Carter County)
Mourning Dove  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Broad-winged Hawk  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  6
Acadian Flycatcher  3
Least Flycatcher  2
Blue-headed Vireo  4
Red-eyed Vireo  5
Blue Jay  3
Carolina Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Gray Catbird  1
Veery  2
Wood Thrush  2
American Robin  2
Cedar Waxwing  4
American Goldfinch  3
Dark-eyed Junco  3
Eastern Towhee  5
Ovenbird  5
Worm-eating Warbler  2
Louisiana Waterthrush  3
Black-and-white Warbler  7
Tennessee Warbler  2
Hooded Warbler  3
American Redstart  4
Northern Parula  2
Chestnut-sided Warbler  6
Black-throated Blue Warbler  7
Black-throated Green Warbler  6
Canada Warbler  6
Scarlet Tanager  4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  3
Indigo Bunting  5
The 3rd segment was along the top of the ridge line (Carter County / Sullivan County)

Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  3
Least Flycatcher  3     Nesting along the high elevation ridge
Blue-headed Vireo  3
Red-eyed Vireo  3
Common Raven  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Gray Catbird  4
Veery  4
American Robin  9
Cedar Waxwing  2
Pine Siskin  6
Dark-eyed Junco  3     Nesting at 3500 feet and above – singing
Eastern Towhee  5
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Ovenbird  7
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Hooded Warbler  4
American Redstart  3
Northern Parula  3
Blackburnian Warbler  4
Chestnut-sided Warbler  4
Black-throated Blue Warbler  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Black-throated Green Warbler  2
Scarlet Tanager  2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  4
Indigo Bunting  4

Thank you to everyone who came to the birding excursion. It was a very fun morning!
Rob Biller
Elizabethton, TN
Steele Creek Park Bird Walk Results  5-9-24
Three birders endured about a half hour of rain and then were rewarded with a great morning of birding at Steele Creek Park on Thursday, May 9. We had 54 species.
Highlights include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, Fish Crow, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Cedar Waxwings, Field Sparrow, Orchard Orioles, Baltimore Orioles, Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Parulas, Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warblers and Scarlet Tanager.
Larry McDaniel
Bristol Bird Club Warbler (and more) Outing on Saturday, April 20

Eleven great birders turned out for our birding trip up Buffalo Mountain (Dry Creek Road) on Saturday, April 20.  The weather was supposed to be mild and mostly sunny, but as it turns out we were in a light drizzle all morning, temps between 50-58 degrees or so.

We started up Dry Creek Road, making a lot of stops along the way just to listen for birds.  We have to admit we heard a whole lot more birds, rather than actually sighting them.  But we did finally get some sightings and the most important sighting of all.  We had a couple of members who had never seen the Swainson’s Warbler.  We heard at least seven of them, but they are very skulky birds.  We finally were successful and had several birders who obtained great camera shots of the Swainson’s Warbler.
It was a great group of people who enjoy birding no matter the conditions and I was so happy we could get that target bird for birders who needed it as a “lifer”.  It was a fun outing and I want to thank everyone who came out.  We had birders from different clubs, visitors, and more which is always great.
Thanks everyone.  We will do another trip soon.
Below is the list and number of species we located:
Wild Turkey – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Pileated Woodpecker – 2
Eastern Phoebe = 2
Blue-headed Vireo – 8
Red-eyed Vireo – 5
Blue Jay – 5
American Crow – 5
Carolina Chickadee – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 1
Carolina Wren – 3
Wood Thrush – 2
American Goldfinch – 8
Eastern Towhee – 1
Brown-headed Cowbird – 1
Ovenbird – 14
Worm-eating Warbler – 2
Louisiana Waterthrush – 4
Black-and-white Warbler – 5
Swainson’s Warbler – 7
Hooded Warbler – 13
Northern Parula – 7
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Black-throated Green Warbler – 6
Scarlet Tanager – 4
Total number of species reported – 27
Debi Campbell
President, Bristol Bird Club
Outstanding 8+ Year old birder finds SECOND Osprey Nest near the Weir Dam (Sullivan County) – Holston Valley Bird Trip Summary

Five BBC members (Larry McDaniel, Harry Norman, Debi Campbell, Roy Knispel, and Rob Biller) + 2 guests ( Marion Bond and her almost 9 year old, Joshua Bond) met at the Weir Dam, next to South Holston River to bird the Holston Valley Area. Immediately, young Joshua was calling out every bird (correctly, I might add) and rushing toward the songs he was hearing to try and see the bird. We walked up the trail next to the river (in the direction of the dam) and turned onto the road at the small boat ramp into the river. We were hearing common birds, plus returning migrants such as Yellow-throated Warbler, Northern Parula, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

As we approached the road, Joshua yells out, “I’ve got an Osprey sitting on a nest!” Being well downriver from the known nest, we started following his direction to where he was looking. Sure enough, he had found a second Osprey nest in the Weir Dam area! We walked down TVA Road South (A) to get a better look at the nest and observed 2 Ospreys still building the new nest.   Also down this road we got to look at a Northern Parula and listen to a Pine Warbler farther out at a distance. Later in the day we found out first for the season, Broad-winged Hawk on a side road just upriver from the Weir Dam. At daybreak I heard a Common Yellowthroat at the Weir Dam area, and listened to a singing Brown Creeper. Roy Knispel also heard a singing House Wren here.

We then decided to go on to Flatwoods road in the hopes of having new migrants still singing. We quickly heard Blue-headed Vireos and a Louisiana Waterthrush. A little farther down the road we were delighted to hear our first of the season Hooded Warblers! We tried our best to find one of the Hooded Warblers for Joshua, but they were very elusive! We also heard, at a distance, a fairly early Eastern-wood Pewee which sparked much discussion. After the 3rd time hearing it from a far distance we made the call.
We ended the day at Musick’s Campground at the edge of Sullivan County and it did not disappoint. We first spotted a large raft (~75) of migrating Double-crested Cormorants. Then Larry McDaniel found a fairly large raft (25) of Red-breasted Mergansers right behind the Cormorants. A little bit later, Larry found 3 Horned Grebes in breeding plumage way out on the lake.
It was a great day of birding and I thank everyone who showed up! The complete lists are below!
451–599 Holston View Dam Rd, Bristol US-TN (36.5240,-82.1091)
Apr 13, 2024
12 Canada Goose, 2 Mallard, 21 Bufflehead, 4 Great Blue Heron, 3 Turkey Vulture,
4 Osprey — 2 on reoccupied nest from last year – another 2 observed building a new nest found by 8-year old birder Joshua Bond!
1 Broad-winged Hawk, 2 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker
2 Eastern Phoebe, 3 Blue Jay, 2 American Crow, 6 Carolina Chickadee, 4 Tufted Titmouse, 20 Tree Swallow
8 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 House Wren, 3 Carolina Wren
1 Eastern Bluebird, 10 American Robin, 2 House Finch, 4 American Goldfinch, 2 Chipping Sparrow
4 Eastern Towhee, 3 Brown-headed Cowbird, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 3 Northern Parula, 1 Pine Warbler
4 Yellow-throated Warbler, 5 Northern CardinalNumber of Taxa: 33
US-TN-Bluff City-1104 Flatwoods Rd

Apr 13, 2024

1 Mallard, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Northern Flicker, 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 7 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Tufted Titmouse, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 3 American Goldfinch, 1 Brown-headed Cowbird, 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
3 Black-and-white Warbler, 5 Hooded Warbler, 1 Yellow-throated Warbler

Morrell Creek Rd – Cherokee National Forest – Bluff City, Sullivan, Tennessee, US

Apr 13, 2024

Downy Woodpecker  1, Blue Jay  3, Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1, White-throated Sparrow 1, Louisiana Waterthrush  1
Hooded Warbler  1, Yellow-throated Warbler  1

S Holston Dam Rd, Bristol US-TN (36.5240,-82.0965), Sullivan, Tennessee, US

Apr 13, 2024

Great Blue Heron  1, Turkey Vulture  3, Osprey  1, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1, American Goldfinch  3
Louisiana Waterthrush 1, Northern Parula  3

South Holston Lake–Musick’s Campground, Sullivan, Tennessee, US

Apr 13, 2024

Canada Goose  2, Red-breasted Merganser  25, Horned Grebe  3 (breeding plumage), Killdeer  1
Bonaparte’s Gull  45, Ring-billed Gull  6, Common Loon  1, Double-crested Cormorant  75
Black Vulture  2, Turkey Vulture  1, Osprey  1, Bald Eagle  2, Tree Swallow  6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2, House Finch  1, White-crowned Sparrow  3

Rob Biller

History

The Bristol Bird Club was founded in Bristol,Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia (USA) in March of 1950.  We are the J. Wallace Coffey Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and an associate member club of the Virginia Society of Ornithology. We are located at Bristol TN-VA, USA.

Birds in Our Area! Test Your Skills
(scroll over the photo for bird species)

What's Important to Us

Building Membership

What is important to our chapter is building our membership in order to continue a leadership role for all things nature.  We encourage young birders so that our club will continue to be healthy and active for future generations of birders.  We want our club to be active in conservation efforts and a strong membership makes that effort even more reachable. Our club strives to be active and to partner with other local clubs in all types of activities.  We have a special interest for programs in our local parks such as Jacob’s Nature Park in Johnson City, TN, and Steele Creek Park in Bristol, TN.