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Recent Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Author: Peter Kasper

See the following link information concerning the Current Status of Access to Fermilab
Entries from past years .. '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '12
and past months .. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Year List: Contains the list of birds seen so far this year.
Seasonal List: The list of birds recorded on site at this time of year.
Recent entries ...Jan 20Jan 16Jan 13Jan 11Jan 10Jan 6Jan 2Dec 30
Dec 23Dec 19Dec 15Dec 12Dec 9Dec 5Dec 4Dec 2
Nov 29Nov 25Nov 23Nov 21Nov 18Nov 17Nov 14Nov 11
Nov 10Nov 9Nov 8Nov 4Nov 3Oct 31Oct 28Oct 26

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Cold (single digits, luckily no wind) and bright, pretty much describes the morning's weather. Most of our birding was done during a circuit of the open roads around the Lab. No significant finds or new year birds were found. The birds of note were Common Goldeneyes (4-5), Common Mergansers (about 10), a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers (2), an American Kestrel, Horned Larks (4), American Robins and a Song Sparrow. Most noticeable was a large group of Mourning Doves (40-50) and it seemed Northern Cardinals were everywhere you looked, particularly at the feeders. Dave

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The temps, hovering around the 30 deg. mark all morning, were again quite pleasant for January birding. Despite this, there was not much to report. The Ed Center Feeders again showed little activity, missing many of the expected winter birds. Birds of note found this morning were Redheads (1-male, 1-female; same as last week), Common Goldeneyes (1-pr.), Common Mergansers (about a half doz.), a Great Blue Heron, Hairy Woodpeckers, a Northern Flicker, America Robins (good numbers in several locations), a Hermit Thrush, Song Sparrows (3), a Swamp Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow. For reference our common winter feeder birds are Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The fresh snow made for a pleasant venue this morning. In addition, the temps were quite pleasant for a January morning. Spending time in the Village area netted us several new birds for the year including a Rock Pigeons, Sharp-shinned Hawk, a large group of Cedar Waxwings (30 plus) and a flyover Eastern Bluebird. Also mixed in with the waxwings were several American Robins, while nearby a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers were found. The only other new year bird was a flock of Horned Larks in the Ag fields north of Wilson Rd. Other interesting finds for the morning were American black Ducks (Pr-Saturday at Casey's Pond), Redheads (1 male and 2 females), Common Goldeneye (6-10), Common Mergansers (2), a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Bald Eagles, a Hairy Woodpecker and an American Kestrel. The remainder of the birds found were the typical winter species. Dave

Friday, January 11, 2019

Temps started in the mid-teens and increased into the upper 20's by afternoon. The winds increased around mid-morning negating some of the temperature increase. Many of the locations around the Lab were not very birdy. Part of the problem was the increased ice cover on most bodies of water. The two best birds of the day, both new for the year, were a Northern Harrier and a Northern Shrike (both in the Main Ring). Other highlights were a Cackling Goose, a Common Merganser (yes, just one found throughout the Lab), Northern Flickers (3-new for year), a Song Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow and American Robins (flock of 25-30, new for year). Dave

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab today. They drove the Betz Prairie area, Main Ring and Injector Ring, Wilson Road and only had 2 gulls ( Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls). Casey's Pond had some waterfowl with highlights of Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Lastly, at the Ed Center Feeders, they found the expected winter birds including, surprisingly, the first reported Northern Cardinals and American Goldfinches of the year. Dave

Sunday, January 6, 2019

On Sunday 1/6, Peter, Dennis and I met and had a good morning of bird observations. Due the warm temperatures that the area has been experiencing, there is considerable amounts of open water on all the lakes. Beginning our morning at AE Sea, we found a single Cackling Goose and five Snow Goose mixed in with the Canada Geese. The Snow Geese, all white-morphed, flushed from the AE Sea when a bald eagle passed overhead. Also flying over were a small flock of Common Merganser with one male Red-breasted Merganser trailing behind. In the Village, a flyover Pine Siskin was observed. We moved over to Main Ring Lake and found that it had significant patches of open water and likewise, significant groups of birds. Hiding amongst the 295 Common Mergansers were a pair of Redhead, American Black Duck, and Common Goldeneye. Also seen in the main ring were a pair of Red-tailed Hawks in a surprisingly tolerable distance of each other, perched on a pipe, in addition, a gorgeous male American Kestrel, acting as a sentry to the Main Ring Rd. Entrance. The Injector Ring was deserted. The ed center feeders were also desolate. The Roads and Grounds feeders hosted the typical fare of Dark-eyed Junco, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Black-capped Chickadee but a flock of 17 House Finch were an added burst of excitement. Casey's Pond was host to additional Mergansers and Mallards but as Peter noted, there were no birds on Andy's Pond. A number of Herring Gulls were counted on Casey's Pond and even more were counted on Lake Law, however we did not find any uncommon gulls amongst them. Glenn

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

To start the year, Penny Kasper heard two Barred Owls calling back and forth yesterday (Jan 1). Talking to Peter it was unclear whether they were a pair or two individuals marking separate territories. The weather this morning was mixed between a mist, sleet and snow, but the only affect was some slippery conditions. Temps were in the upper 20's with winds starting in the single digits increasing into the upper teens by mid-morning. Some interesting birds were found along with many of the usually expected. There were, however, several unexpected misses to start the year. Waterfowl found were Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers (7-Casey's Pond) and Common Mergansers (again, most abundant waterfowl). The best birds were 2 Bald Eagles (1-immature near Lake Law, 1-adult near Casey's Pond), a Hermit Thrush and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Other highlights were a Great Blue Heron, a Great Horned Owl, a Song Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow and several White-throated Sparrows. Expected new birds for the year were Red-tailed Hawks, Ring-billed Gulls (2), Herring Gulls, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, American Crows, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, a European Starling, American Tree Sparrows, House Finches and House Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Temps in the teens and moderate winds made for a cool birding experience this morning. Common Mergansers were the most abundant waterfowl throughout the Lab. The only other waterfowl of interest were several Common Goldeneye and a female Hooded Merganser. Other highlights were a Sharp-shinned Hawk (juv.), Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Shrike (Main Ring) and several Horned Larks (along West Wilson). The most interesting observation of the morning was watching an immature Bald Eagle buzz Casey's Pond, occasionally skimming the water. Interestingly, the ducks and geese on the water seemed undeterred by the eagle's antics even when it came close to the waterfowl. Dave

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The mild temps (low to mid 30's) were comfortable except in areas directly in the wind. The morning's birding around the Lab was poor. Even the Ed Center Feeders showed subdued activity with just the expected winter species. The small number of highlights included Common Goldeneyes, a Hooded Merganser, Common Mergansers, a Hairy Woodpecker (at the feeders) and an American Kestrel. The bird of the day, missed by some of us as we were overly eager for donuts, was a Sharp-shinned Hawk found by Peter. Dave

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It was another pleasant morning for being in the Lab, with temps starting in the mid 30's and reaching the mid 40's by noon. The late morning winds did make it feel a little cooler. The passerines showed a little more activity than the previous couple of weeks in the Sparrow Hedge area, but most of the activity was by American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Northern Cardinals. The Sea of Evanescence produced a Snow Goose (blue) and a pair of Northern Pintails among several hundred Canada Geese. The Ed Center Feeders were active, though not overly, with only the expected winter species. Other birds of note found around the Lab were American Black Ducks (2-pr.), Common Goldeneyes (3), Common Mergansers (100 plus), a Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owls (pr.), Hairy Woodpeckers (3-4), Northern Flickers (3), American Robins and Song Sparrows (3). Dave

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Fermi Circle Christmas Bird Count was held today. We exceeded our expectations, considering our birding experiences in the weeks leading up to the count, with 50 species for the day (in the Lab). This is just about the 20-year average for CBC's the Lab. No doubt the fantastic weather had a role to play in our results, being mostly sunny with temps starting in the low 20's and reaching the upper 40's by noon. We had a long list of surprise birds for the day including Snow Geese (2-Blue), Green-winged Teal (2), an Iceland Gull (formerly Thayer's Gull and first CBC sighting in the Lab), a Sandhill Crane, a Barred Owl, a Hermit Thrush, a Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warblers (surprisingly 7) and a Chipping Sparrow. Other birds not always found during past CBC's were Bald Eagles (3), a Sharp-shinned Hawk, Belted Kingfishers (2), Northern Shrikes (3), Brown Creepers (2) and Eastern Bluebirds. Highlight birds, usually expected for a CBC, were Common Goldeneyes (87), Hooded Mergansers (5), Common Mergansers (286), Great Blue Herons (4), a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (3), Great Horned Owls (11), Cedar Waxwings (4), Song Sparrows (4), Swamp Sparrows (6) and White-throated Sparrows (3). Finally, some of the notable misses were Cackling Geese, other waterfowl species (especially considering the larger than normal amount of open water available), other owl species, Horned Larks, Red-breasted Nuthatches (especially after a record high of 26 last year) and no blackbird species. All and all, a good time was had by all. Dave

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The temps were in the mid to upper 30's all morning. The early winds were from the south and not to uncomfortable, but as they shifted to the west there was a noticeable chill factor. Denis and I were in the Lab independently this morning, mostly checking out our respective monitor areas for this Saturday's Christmas Bird Count. Together we netted 35 species for the morning, not bad considering the noticeable lack of passerine activity. These were our finds: a Snow Goose, Cackling Geese, Canada Geese, Mallards, a Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal (pr), Common Goldeneyes, a Hooded Merganser, Common Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Blue Herons, Red-tailed Hawks, an American Kestrel, Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Mourning Doves, a Great Horned Owl, a Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Northern Shrikes (2), Blue Jays, American Crows, Black-capped Chickadees, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatches, a Hermit Thrush (it's been around for 3 weeks), American Robins, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches, American Goldfinches and House Sparrows. These qualify as Count Week Birds and if any of these species are missed on Saturday, they will be counted for the 2018 CBC. Dave

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The temps started out this morning (7:00) in the mid-teens but warmed to the mid 20's by the time we left the Lab. The mild winds had no effect on the birds. Waterfowl highlights consisted of Cackling Geese, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. One Great Blue Heron was standing knee deep in water and looking quite cold. Two American Kestrels were found. One was harassing a Red-tailed Hawk flying through the kestrel's territory. The only interesting bird at the feeders was a White-throated Sparrow. The best bird(s) of the morning were a couple of Northern Shrikes inside the Main Ring. Other birds of interest were a Great Horned Owl, a Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flickers (2) and Song Sparrows (2). Dave

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Marcia and Gail were in this morning and found the bird activity as it has been for a while, slow. Their highlights were Common Goldeneyes (5), a Great Blue Heron, a Cooper's Hawk and American Kestrels (2). They did check the Ed Center Feeders finding just the usual suspects. Dave

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A late afternoon/evening trip to the Lab in search of Short-eared and Screech Owls produced nothing more than 3 Great Horned Owls including a pair hooting back and forth. Not much else was found except for a Common Goldeneye, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, a growing number of Common Mergansers (as darkness set in) and several Swamp Sparrows. The feeders showed little activity with the only highlight being the same stub-tailed opossum found a couple of weeks ago. Dave

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The morning started warm, well about average, and wet. The precipitation continued most of the morning but slowed up a bit later. Due to the ice cover on most of the lakes, waterfowl were again limited. Those of found note were Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers, all in small numbers. A Sharp-shinned Hawk buzzing around the Ed Center Feeders kept the area birds at bay. The only other birds of note were a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Flicker, an American Kestrel and, the bird of the day, a Northern Shrike (inside the Main Ring.). Some spotted an adult Bald Eagle as they were leaving the Lab's East Entrance. Dave

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The temps were at or just below the freezing mark all morning with mild winds. All waters in the Lakes Region were ice covered. In addition, passerine activity in the area was minimal. Waterfowl found elsewhere were quite poor with only 2 Hooded Mergansers on Casey's Pond and 8 Common Goldeneyes on the Main Injector Moat. The feeders were just about empty; but soon after filling them, they became quite active. Most of the birds were the expected winter species including Mourning Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Downy Woodpecker, a Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, House Finches, American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (2), Dark-eyed Juncos and Northern Cardinals. Birds of interest found elsewhere around the Lab were a Great Blue Heron, a Great Horned Owl, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows (3). Dave

Sunday, November 25, 2018

We had about 20 minutes of nice weather (cloudy, no wind and temps in the mid 30's) before the rain started. The Lakes Region produced the largest group of Common Mergansers of the season (in the Lab) on Lake Law, a couple of Great Blue Herons, a Cooper's Hawk (calling from Owl's Nest Woods), a White-throated Sparrow and several American Tree Sparrows. Other birds of mention were Northern Shovelers and Hooded Mergansers, (both at DUSAF), a Pied-billed Grebe, an American Kestrel and we relocated the Hermit Thrush found earlier in the week. There was some activity at the Ed Center Feeders. Beyond the usual winter finds were American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, a couple of White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. It also seemed like Blue Jays were at every location we visited. Dave

Friday, November 23, 2018

Peter spent some time in the Lab this morning and related some of his highlights. He saw a Northern Pintail, Common Goldeneyes, American Coots (2), a Bald Eagle and Horned Larks. He also mentioned seeing a Red-tailed Hawk sitting atop Osprey Nest 1. Hopefully, it was just visiting. Dave

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Temps continue to be below normal but, if you were out of the direct wind (which was only 5-10 mph), it was quite comfortable. Water was starting to open in the Lakes region. Lake Law had the most open water, mostly at the south end, but only produced about 100 Canada Geese and a few Mallards. The other 2 lakes only produced Green-winged Teal (3). Waterfowl found elsewhere were Northern Shovelers (about 20-DUSAF), Common Goldeneye (Casey's Pond), Hooded Mergansers (8-Casey's) and Common Mergansers (7-again all females-Casey's). The A.E. Sea Slots produced 2 Great Blue Herons with another 6 at DUSAF. A flock of 25 plus White-throated Sparrows and several each of American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos was found in the Sparrow Hedge. They were quite active. Also found in the area was a flock of several Song Sparrows picking berries off a tree and a Fox Sparrow digging through the leaf litter. A low flying Cooper's Hawk disturbed an unseen American Crow, in the Lake Law Pines, enough to give a single destress call. The only other birds of interest were a couple of American Coots, a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers and a very late Hermit Thrush (the third latest sighting). The only interesting sighting at the Ed Center Feeders, among the usually expected winter birds, was an opossum with a bloody stub of a tail. Dave

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The morning temps were just below the freezing mark and, mixed with the minimal winds, made for a pleasant morning of birding. The village area provided a Red-breasted Nuthatch and several Golden-crowned Kinglets. While viewing a mixed flock of common birds in a small group of trees and shrubs, a silver flash proved to be a Northern Shrike zooming in for a Dark-eyed Junco. He missed but provided good views of this species as it perched in a nearby tree. Main Ring Lake provided a pair of Tundra Swans, which flew off after a minute or so, and several Green-winged Teal. Other birds found throughout the Lab were American Black Ducks (pr), Common Goldeneyes, Killdeer (2), Northern Flickers (2), Horned Larks, Cedar Waxwings (flock, about a dozen) and a couple of White-throated Sparrows (feeders). Another excellent find was a couple of Chipping Sparrows (the second latest sighting in the Lab) at the Roads and Ground Feeders. Dave

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Even though Glenn said birding is beginning to slow down, he still came up with some interesting birds during the week in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. Starting with waterfowl, he found Cackling Geese, Canada Geese (from a high count of 2100 down to 80 on Thursday), Mallards, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and Hooded Mergansers. There were diminishing returns on the waterfowl due to ice cover over most of the lakes by midweek. Other water related birds included a Pied-billed Grebe, American Coots, Sandhill Cranes (3 hanging together on AE Sea), Great Blue Herons and a Great Egret (one very late holdout at DUSAF). Raptors were represented by a Northern Harrier, a Cooper's Hawk, a Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawks and a Great Horned Owl (calling in the early morning). Except for the increasing numbers of American Tree Sparrows and probably Dark-eyed Juncos, other sparrows are diminishing including Fox Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow (late), Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Other birds of interest included a Northern Flicker, Horned Larks, both Golden-crowned Kinglets and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwings, a Brown-headed Cowbird and a Rusty Blackbird. Dave

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By the time we started, in late morning, the temps had risen to be quite pleasant. There was not an abundance of birds, but we did have some interesting finds. Since the waters in the Lakes Region were almost totally ice covered, no waterfowl were found. However, several other areas had spots of open water producing an American Black Duck (DUSAF), Northern Shovelers (12 plus, DUSAF), a Northern Pintail (Fem-DUSAF), Green-winged Teal (2-Main Ring Lake), Ring-necked Ducks (7-Casey's), Greater Scaup (pair-Casey's), Common Goldeneyes (all Fem-several Locations), Hooded Mergansers (12- Casey's) and Common Mergansers (10 again all Fem-MRL). Sparrows were sparse. Those found were American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other bird highlights found were American Coots (3-MRL), Sandhill Cranes (3-A.E. Sea Slots), a Belted Kingfisher (Main Ring), a Hairy Woodpecker, an American Kestrel, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. We watched a Great Blue Heron, standing on the ice, apparently intently watching a fish swimming below. Our bird(s) of the day were 2 Northern Shrikes found inside the Main Ring less than 100 yards apart. Interestingly, when we were in the Lake Law area, we were treated to an interesting repertoire of sounds from the ice flexing and cracking. Dave

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The combination of below normal temps (28 deg to start) and the wind (12 mph) made birding a little uncomfortable. Passerines were somewhat affected. As an example, our largest group of sparrows seemed to be huddled together in a small spot in the Hedge. When we approached the area, good numbers of Fox Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and several American Tree Sparrows flushed. Other sparrows found in the area were a Savannah Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Waterfowl found, mostly in the Lakes Region, were Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Gadwall, American Wigeons, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers (DUSAF Pond), Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers (20-25 Main Ring Lake) and a Red-breasted Merganser (L.Law). Also, Peter reported Snow Geese (2-Blue) on Casey's Pond during his trip into the Lab this morning. Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots were still represented in the Lakes. Other bird highlights around the Lab were Killdeer, Bald Eagles (2-adults, 1-3rd year and 1-immature), an American Kestrel and Cedar Waxwings. Looks like the egrets and cormorants are gone for the year, none were found again today. Several very cold-looking Great Blue Herons (5) were found in the open waters of A.E. Sea. Dave

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Peter was in the Lab on Saturday and located a pair of Tundra Swans on A. E. Sea. Several other waterfowl were also found but, since they were all duplicated on Sunday, I won't list them here. Dave

Friday, November 9, 2018

Glenn reported some nice finds in the Lakes region earlier this week (Mon-Thur). Starting with waterfowl he saw Greater White-fronted Geese (2-Wed), Cackling Goose (high count 6), Canada Goose (high count 2100 on Thu), a Wood Duck, Northern Shovelers (2 on Wed), Mallards, Green-winged Teal (high count 48 on Tue), Ring-necked Duck (4 on Thu), Greater Scaup (1 on Thu), Bufflehead (2 on Wed, 18 on L Law on Thu), Hooded Mergansers, (15 on L Law) and a Ruddy Duck (L Law). Other water-related birds included Pied-billed Grebes (3 all week), American Coots (all week, high count 52), Sandhill Cranes (pair found at Sea of E every morning), Killdeer, a Double-crested Cormorant (Monday), Great Blue Herons (every day, high count 7) and Great Egrets (After 7 on Sunday, down to 2 on Wednesday). In the area of raptors, finds were a Northern Harrier, a Bald Eagle (1 adult Thur) and a Great Horned Owl (calling on Mon and Thur morning by Sea of Evanescence). Sparrows found, as expected, in late fall migration were American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Other birds of interest were Horned Larks, a Red Breasted Nuthatch, a Marsh Wren (1 still calling from the south AE Sea, Tuesday only), a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebirds, a Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, Purple Finch, a Lapland Longspur and a Rusty Blackbird (1 singing male on Thursday).

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Marcia and Gail were back in the Lab this morning doing their typical monitoring in the Ring areas. Their only waterfowl of interest was a lone Hooded Merganser. Also, a single American Coot was still around. Interestingly, an adult male Ring-necked Pheasant was found inside the Main Ring, hope he can continue to dodge the coyotes. They spotted a pair of Sandhill Cranes near the Wilson Road Entrance, a first report in that area to my knowledge. Also, along Wilson Road an adult Bald Eagle was spotted. Three American Kestrels were found in three separate locations. Finally, even though American Crows have become somewhat common of late, their finding 11 together (also near the Wilson Rd. entrance) is worthy of note (typically 3 to 5 is an average group size). Dave

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The morning rain kept us from doing much walking and limited our birding opportunities. That said, our bird(s) of the day were 3 Surf Scoters found in Casey's Pond (only the 5th sighting of this open water species in the Lab). Other waterfowl found, mostly in DUSAF Pond, were Gadwall, an American Wigeon, Northern Shovelers, Green Winged Teal and Northern Pintails. American Coots were mixed in with these ducks and several Great Egrets (6) still are hanging around. Several flocks of blackbirds were found in the north fields of the Lab. The largest one had over 2000 birds. Unfortunately, due to the rain and distance to the birds, only Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds could be confirmed. Also found in the area were a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Great Horned Owl, Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs. Dave

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Here is the summary of Glenn's week at the Lab. Even though he still is getting some good birds, as he stated, "it is becoming evident that birds are moving out and things are slowing down". Starting with Waterfowl, which still appear to be slow in coming down, he found a Cackling Goose (1 Tue at Sea of E), Canada Geese (between 200-650 each day), Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall (high count of 3), Mallard (high count of 62), Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Ducks. Other related birds were Pied-billed Grebes (high count of 6), a Virginia Rail (1 bird flushed near Sea of E on 10/26), a Sora (heard), American Coots (between 10-24 throughout the week), Sandhill Cranes (pair found every morning in Sea of E), Killdeer (high count 4) and Double-crested Cormorants (high count 5). Sparrows are also diminishing. Found were Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-crowned Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Songs and Swamp Sparrows (in dwindling numbers). Other birds of interest in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were a Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, a Horned Lark, a Marsh Wren (1 male, STILL SINGING), a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebirds (high count of 6), a Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, Lapland Longspur (5) and Yellow-rumped Warblers (down to 1 or 2 a day). Dave

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Before Donna leaves for an extended trip to the South Pole, her reports this week included the expected Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, the occasional Sandhill Crane, Great Egrets and Great Blue herons in the Slots. But her significant find was 10 Snow Geese on Casey's Pond on Tuesday. Dave

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Birding this morning in the Lab was, in one word, bad. The rain (which had stopped) and cool temps were not a factor, but the winds (hovering around 15 mph) were. There were really no surprises during the morning. Most of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Region. Waterfowl were sparse with highlights of a Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal and several Ring-necked Ducks. Sparrows were equally sparse with only Fox Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, several White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The Sea of Evanescence water level was back up, eliminating the flats, due to the clean-up of the beaver dam at the south end of A.E. Sea. Other birds in the area were Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots (still good numbers of both these 2 species), Sandhill Cranes (several heard) and a Herring Gull. Other sightings elsewhere included a Killdeer, Horned Larks and several Eastern Bluebirds. On his way in, Peter reported a Cackling Goose in the Buffalo Fields. On his way back through the Lab, Peter added American Wigeon, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail and Hooded Merganser. Dave

Friday, October 26, 2018

A quick trip to the Lab this afternoon was not too birdy, but I did manage a Brown Creeper and a Purple Finch. Denis added some Lapland Longspurs found in the northern portions of the Lab. Dave

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