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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 ...Apr 18Apr 17Apr 13Apr 10Apr 7Apr 3Mar 30Mar 27
Mar 23Mar 20Mar 18Mar 16Mar 13Mar 11Mar 9Mar 6
Mar 3Mar 2Feb 28Feb 27Feb 24Feb 21Feb 20Feb 17
Feb 14Feb 11Feb 10Feb 7Feb 4Jan 31Jan 29Jan 24

Monday, April 18, 2016

This morning the mate to Osprey Nest 3 had returned, one was on the new platform while the other was on the perch above. That makes all three Osprey nests now occupied by a pair of birds. The only other bird worthy of note this morning was a flyover Sharp-shinned Hawk. Dave

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weather-wise the morning was just about perfect being sunny, with warm temps and very little wind. Bird numbers again seemed to be low, but the variety was quite nice. American White Pelicans still remain in the Lakes Region with one on Lake Law and about 70 on A.E. Sea. Waterfowl showed a little more variety than on Wednesday with Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Mergansers (Sea of Evanescence) and Ruddy Ducks (Lake Law). Shorebirds appear to be on the move. Found around A.E. Sea were a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (4), a Lesser Yellowlegs and several Wilson's Snipe. The snipe were found in several locations including a wetland on the south end of the Lab which is not birded regularly. Another two new year birds were found in the Lakes Region. First a Caspian Tern was seen over A.E. Sea and then, on our return to the Red Barn, several Mute Swans were at the north end of Lake Law. Other birds of interest for the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe (Lake Law), a Sandhill Crane (heard), a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (new for year), Brown Thrashers, Chipping Sparrows (now around in force), Field Sparrows (most numerous sparrow), a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and a White-throated Sparrow. During the week Peter added Northern Rough-winged Swallows (also new for the year). Dave

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It was a very pleasant morning for birding at the Lab - cool but comfortable to start, with mild winds and partly cloudy skies. Through the morning the winds picked up just a little, while temps warmed nicely. Thrashers (first of the year) were singing in the Sparrow Hedge Area as were Swamp Sparrows. A.E. Sea was loaded with American White Pelicans (60 plus), while quite a few Wilson's Snipe were flushing from along its shoreline. An adult Bald Eagle flushed from Owl's Nest Woods, then while flying south, flushed an immature Bald Eagle about 100 yards away. The only waterfowl found during the morning were Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Other new birds for the year were a Great Egret, House Wrens, a Winter Wren (Big Woods) and Field Sparrows (many locations). There was still a good number of American Coots and a singing Pied-billed Grebe at Lake Logo. Other birds of note found during the morning were Turkey Vultures, Great Horned Owls (now up to 4 owlets on 2 nests) Eastern Phoebes, Brown Creepers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a singing Fox Sparrow. The only change on the Osprey front was the return of the second bird to Nest 2. In addition, the single bird at Nest 3 is showing more loyalty to the new nest box. Yesterday, Peter added Double-crested Cormorant as a new, year bird. Dave

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Despite the weather this morning, the birding was again pretty good as it has been over the past week. It was quite cold (for the season) and windy with occasional showers. Waterfowl around the Lab remain fairly consistent. Found were Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Interestingly, four Pied-billed Grebes were found in the canal between Lake Law and Swenson Rd. Pond, while a good number of American Coots (about 50) remain in Lake Logo. Osprey remain status quo, with 4 confirmed birds in the Lab. New for the year were Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Hermit Thrushes (actually Penny Kasper reported a thrush yesterday). Besides these two species, a walk between showers in Main Ring Lake produced a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Brown Creepers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Fox Sparrows (quite a few, some singing), Song Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow. Other birds found during the morning were Turkey Vultures, a Northern Harrier, a Wilson's Snipe and a Vesper Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The weather this morning had a little bit of everything to offer - cold, rain, snow, sleet and even a little sun. The only constant was the wind. This, however, had little effect on the birding which was quite productive. Starting out, Lake Law produced a Pied-billed, two Horned Grebes and about a dozen female Red-breasted Mergansers. It was interesting watching the mergansers probing the depths, as a group, for fish. When they finally located a school of shiners, there was a feeding frenzy with multiple dives by each bird. Many fish were consumed in the several minutes before the fish apparently dispersed. Didn't spend much time on waterfowl but did manage Wood Ducks (including 2 pr found on tree limbs), Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Ruddy Ducks. I counted 43 Tree Swallows on a power line by DUSAF Pond. Dave Shemanske has been reporting activity at all three Osprey nests this week. This morning Denis confirmed an Osprey on Nest 3 while the Nest 1 pair were at their nest. I watched one of the Nest 2 pair carrying nesting materials to the nest. Several American Coots were still on Lake Logo along with a pair of Pied-billed Grebes (grebes have nested there over the last several years). Other birds found during the morning were a Northern Harrier, Sandhill Cranes (heard), Great Horned Owls (including 2 owlets in a nest), Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (about 10 in the Big Woods), Eastern Phoebes, Brown Creepers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, an Eastern Towhee and Vesper Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, April 3, 2016

What started out as a very chilly morning for the season, with sheets of ice on some waters, quickly improved in both the temps and birding. Waterfowl in the Lakes Region included Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Mergansers. Added inside the Ring Area were Gadwall, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and Ruddy Ducks. That makes a dozen species for the morning which is well above average for the last several weeks. Also found were several Pied-billed Grebes and great looks at over 50 American Coots in Lake Logo. It was also a good morning for raptors including Osprey (Nest 1 pr), an immature Bald Eagle, Northern Harriers (3), a Cooper's Hawk, the expected Red-tailed Hawks, an American Kestrel and Great Horned Owls. A few other birds of interest this morning were a Sandhill Crane, a Vesper Sparrow (1st of the year and right on schedule) and several Rusty Blackbirds. On his way home through the Lab, Peter added several first of the year American White Pelicans to the day's finds. A quick word about photographers in the Lab. We found two photographers under the Osprey nest (Nest 1) photographing one of the Ospreys on the next pole down (about 25 yd away). This was incredibly unethical of these photographers, since these birds are just trying to reestablish their nesting territory. In addition, they were in a restricted area without authorization. Photographers, myself included, always want the sharpest, best composed shots, but it can't be at the expense of wildlife's welfare whether it's an endangered species or not. Dave

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The consistent 10-15 mph winds did have some affect on the bird activity, but not extensively. Except for the activity of some of the common early breeders ( American Robins, Northern Cardinals and Red-winged Blackbirds), there was not much activity in the Sparrow Hedge area. Sparrow numbers were greatly diminished from recent visits. Found in the Hedge/Lakes region were Song Sparrows, a few Swamp Sparrow and American Tree Sparrows. Fox Sparrows were added in Main Ring Woods. The expected Northern Shovelers (about 200) and Green-winged Teal were on A.E. Sea, while a half dozen Common Mergansers were on the Sea of Evanescence. Other waterfowl found were about 20 each Gadwall and Ruddy Ducks on Main Ring Lake and Wood Ducks (in several wet woodlots). Also found were a Pied-billed Grebe and an American Coot (yes, just one). New for the year were a Greater Yellowlegs and a Pectoral Sandpiper in the Horse Paddock. One of the Ospreys was on Nest 1 while its mate was about 20 yards away having lunch. Other birds found during the morning were Turkey Vultures (2), Sandhill Cranes, several Wilson's Snipe, Great Horned Owls (3), a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers (Owl's Nest Woods), Northern Flickers (a noticeable increase in numbers), Eastern Phoebes and Tree Swallows (over Lake Law). Dave

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I was all alone this morning which was a pity since it would have been nice to have someone else see the juvenile Northern Goshawk that I found by Dusaf Pond. Also by the pond were the first Blue-winged Teal of the year. Given the time of year, there was surprisingly little diversity among the waterfowl; Northern Shovelers were the most abundant followed by Green-winged Teal. There was a flock of Ruddy Ducks on main-ring lake and Mallards were scattered about the site but the only others that I found were a two pairs of Wood Ducks, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, and a lone female Ring-necked Duck. The only other noteworthy bird was an Osprey near nest 1. It was presumably one the original adult breeders and the same bird that was seen last Thursday. Peter K.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thankfully, the predicted rain never occurred this morning. The moderate wind at the start did pickup and had some affect on the birds. Waterfowl showed a little more variety than over the last couple of weeks, starting with a group of about 50 Lesser Scaup on Lake Law with a few Ring-necked Ducks thrown in. On my return from the Sparrow Hedge, about 50 more Ring-necked Ducks joined the group. They were now close enough to get good views with the scope. I was then able to pick out a couple of Greater Scaup (first of the year) in the group. Other waterfowl of note were Wood Ducks (pair), Gadwall (40 plus), Northern Shovelers (A.E. Sea), Green-winged Teal (A.E. Sea), Hooded Mergansers (pair), Common Mergansers (pair) and Ruddy Ducks. The overall number of sparrows was less than that of last week. The number of Song Sparrows, though less than last week, were now above that of the American Tree Sparrows. Also found were Swamp Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows and a good number of playful Dark-eyed Juncos in the Big woods. Also in the Big Woods were several singing Eastern Phoebes. Also found were a Northern Harrier, Great Horned Owls (3), a Hairy Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebirds. Many of these same birds were found by Marcia and Gail during their monitoring session today. In addition, they found a Pied-billed Grebe, Turkey Vultures, a Cooper's Hawk and 50 American Coots, possibly the same group of coots hanging around since last week. Finally, Ryan reported flushing American Woodcocks (first of the year) during this week's burns. Dave

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The morning was chilly early with a mild wind which gained some strength throughout the morning. Sparrow activity was not up to what it was Friday. There were still good numbers of Song Sparrows, only a few Swamp Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow worthy of mention. There were still only a small number of waterfowl including Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. The North Roads area provided small numbers of Horned Larks and a group of over 30 Sandhill Cranes feeding in a corn field - unfortunately still no white ones. The bird(s) of the day was an intimate pair of Trumpeter Swans on Main Ring Lake. At one point one of the swans took off making a large circle, returning right next to the other. Several minutes later both took off, flew the length of the lake and landed together on the far end. Dave

Friday, March 18, 2016

The morning started cool, but at least the strong winds of the past two days showed some moderation. A rather uneventful walk in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region did produce a good number of sparrows although the diversity was not impressive. American Tree Sparrows still remain the most abundant species, but Song Sparrows were a close second. Several Swamp Sparrows and Fox Sparrows were also found along with a couple Dark-eyed Juncos. Later, inside Main Ring Woods, many more Fox Sparrows (20-30) were found. Only several small groups of Northern Shovelers (totaling about 30) were found on A.E. Sea. In the "not good news category", a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds were also huddled together on a branch in the area. Other birds found around the Lab were Gadwall, Ruddy Ducks (25-Main Ring Lake), a Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harriers (at least 2), an American Kestrel, American Coot (probably same group the girls had Wed.), Great Horned Owls (3), Eastern Phoebes, Tree Swallows (3), Eastern Bluebirds and a male Eastern Towhee (1st of year). Dave

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Despite the strong winds and mighty gusts, Marcia and Gail were in the Lab doing much of their typical bird survey. Waterfowl sightings still remain poor. They were only able to find Bufflehead (6), Common Goldeneye (1) and Common Mergansers (8) in the area of the Rings. In addition, they relocated the winter resident Pied-billed Grebe and the largest number of American Coots to date (2016) at fifty. They did manage to find the first Eastern Phoebe of the year in Betz Prairie, which is right on time. That's pretty amazing with the winds that were blowing in this open area. Other birds of note were Eastern Meadowlarks and Common Grackles. Dave

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The weather was mild but wet which eliminated much of the field (out of the car) birding. This put the pressure on waterfowl birding but, as the rest of the week had shown, this was poor. The only waterfowl found were Canada Geese, a Wood Duck, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks - worst showing of the week. There were lots of blackbirds in the north end of the Lab mostly consisting of European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds with an increased percentage of female red-wings evident. Also included were Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and several Rusty Blackbirds. The only other birds worth mentioning were an American Coot, a Wilson's Snipe (interestingly only the first of the year) and Horned Larks. Dave

Friday, March 11, 2016

It was another beautiful morning at the Lab with sunny skies, mild temps (warming throughout the morning) and almost no wind. Waterfowl continue to be a disappointment in both quantity and variety of birds. I was quite disappointed with my results after sampling most of the major bodies of water this morning. Sparrows on the other hand are on the increase. Beyond the expected winter residents of American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, I found a very early singing Chipping Sparrow, Fox Sparrows, many Song Sparrows (over 100), Swamp Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow. An extensive walk through the Center of the Ring produced only my first garter snake of the year. A couple more firsts for the year were a Turkey Vulture and Tree Swallow (Buffalo Pasture fence), both right on schedule. Starting about 10:30 a.m., Sandhill Cranes were continuously heard flying overhead until I left after the noon hour. A female American Kestrel was again on the North Eola nest box. Other birds found during the morning were a Great Horned Owl, a Brown Creeper, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks (now becoming well established) and a Rusty Blackbird. Dave

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning with not much to report in the way of waterfowl, but some other water birds did impress. Starting out with the bird(s) of the day, four Horned Grebes in Main Ring Lake. Also found were a Pied-billed Grebe and American Coots. Finally, the first multiple Great Blue Herons (3) of the year were found in the Ring areas. It appears sparrows are starting to move in. They found a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows (19) and White-throated Sparrows (2). Other birds of interest were Northern Harriers (3), an American Kestrel (female on North Eola nest box), several Killdeer, American Crows (3-in Main Ring) and Eastern Meadowlarks (5). Dave

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Despite the predicted warmer weather for today, the morning was a little brutal. Strong winds and the early cooler temps made for uncomfortable conditions, especially with a lighter jacket. It appeared that the wind did have a negative effect on most birds in its path. Waterfowl still remain the key target, though the numbers and variety have not been up to par. Found were Greater White-fronted Geese (heard flying over Big Woods), Canada Geese (small numbers), Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, a Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, a Lesser Scaup (only 1), Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. We had the fourth Bald Eagle sighting in a week (3-Adt., 1-Juv). Other birds of interest for the morning were an American Kestrel, a Great Horned Owl (on a new nest), Northern Flickers, Brown Creepers and Song Sparrows. Dave

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Despite the cold start to the morning and the occasional snow showers, it was quite a pleasant morning for birding the Lab. A.E. Sea was barren of waterfowl, being mostly ice or slush covered. Lake Law was mostly open and had a fair number of waterfowl. I had all the same waterfowl as the girls did yesterday, and additionally, several Lesser Scaup and several Wood Ducks (in a small remote pond). Also of note was the largest number of Ring-necked Ducks (over 100) to date (for 2016) in the Lab. After I heard the girls had an Eastern Meadowlark yesterday I figured I could get a year bird. All morning I kept alert for meadowlarks in the usual locations but had no luck. On my way out, in the early afternoon, I did finally find 8 to 10 singing and flying around North Eola Road. Other birds found for the morning were an American Kestrel, Ring- necked Pheasant, Great Horned Owls (3), Hairy Woodpeckers, a Song Sparrow, a Rusty Blackbird (first of the year), and a Common Grackle. Dave

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Though it was cold, the lack of wind and bright sun made for pleasurable birding for Marcia and Gail this morning. Many of the same waterfowl of recent trips were found in the Main and Injector Ring areas. Included were Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck. It appears the Pied-billed Grebe has returned after a several -week absence. Also, several American Coots were found. Other birds of interest found during the morning were a Bald Eagle (full adult), Northern Flickers, Horned Larks, a White-throated Sparrow and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, February 28, 2016

It was quite windy, mostly overcast with temps well above average. Unfortunately, the wind became the prominent factor in today's birding efforts, mostly effecting the land birds. Most of the same waterfowl found by Glenn over the past couple of days were again found. The only highlights beyond those birds were a Cooper's Hawk and an immature Bald Eagle. Dave

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Over the last two days (Fri - Sat), Glenn came up with a list of most of the recently seen waterfowl, plus a new year bird. Found in a combination of locations around the Lab were Canada Goose (again lower numbers), Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Mallards (also in lower numbers), Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes (over 300 total for both days), Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers (over 500 each day) and a Red-breasted Merganser (new for year). Other highlight birds he found were Northern Harriers (4), a Sandhill Crane (first of the year), a Great Horned Owl, a Short-eared Owl (inside the Main Ring), Eastern Bluebirds and Horned Larks. Also on Friday, among hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls, an immature Glaucous Gull was found on Lake Law. Dave

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This was the Day of the Merganser. Common Mergansers were represented in most open waters around the Lab with over 200 on Lake Law and another 200 on Main Ring Lake. In addition, there were over a dozen Hooded Mergansers throughout the Lab. Trying as hard as I could, I did not find a red-breasted among all these birds. The variety of waterfowl was a little less than that found on Sunday. Others found today around the Lab were American Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers (about 30 on A.E. Sea), Canvasbacks, Redheads (15), Ring-necked Ducks (12), Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, and Common Goldeneyes. Thirteen American Coots were in the Main Injector Moat. A Great Blue Heron was in the center of the Main Ring, the first I've seen in over a month. A couple of Killdeer were in the Swenson Road Horse Paddock, first of the year. Ring-billed Gulls were the majority gull of the day. Not much else to report. The strong winds did not promote much activity among the passerines. Found were Great Horned Owls (3), Hairy Woodpeckers (they've become more common over the last year or so), a Horned Lark, and a Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, February 21, 2016

There was partial open water everywhere around the Lab this morning. The weather was mild, but the overcast skies did not allow the temps to rise much above normal. Like Denis' visit yesterday, the bulk of our birding interests were directed towards waterfowl. Found during the morning were Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. The remainder of the birds of interest found this morning was quite short and included American Coot, Ring-billed Gull (surprisingly the first of the year), Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Bluebird, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Denis' group did not fare much better, but they did come up with a Yellow-rumped Warbler (a first for the year). Dave

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Denis had a nice list of 35 birds from two trips to the Lab today. The weather was fantastic for a late February day. The list was mostly about waterfowl which included Greater White-fronted Geese, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Other birds of note from the list were Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, American Coot, Short-eared Owl (from his evening visit), Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird (both of these were new for the year). Dave

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spring was in the air this morning. The warmer temps and bright sun was apparently very stimulating to a number of birds around the Lab. Several Northern Cardinals were singing, Downy Woodpeckers were drumming, a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers were interacting very vocally and a couple of Red-bellied Woodpeckers were interacting quite physically (feathers were flying). In addition, many of the other typical resident and winter birds were quite active. It was also fun to watch the Common Goldeneyes doing their interesting courtship displays (this has been going on for several weeks). Again nothing new was found around the Lab. Waterfowl were spread around various open waters. Included were Gadwall (pair), Green-winged Teal, a Northern Pintail, Redheads (2), Bufflehead (3-females), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. There were also about a dozen American Coots around the Main Injector Moat. Some of the other birds found were a Great Horned Owl, Horned Larks, American Robins (making themselves quite noticeable), a Song Sparrow, a White-crowned Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds. Dave

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where have all the geese gone? Probably to the river as Denis said. They're certainly not in the Lab. Several hundred were in the Main Injector Moat and associated open waters, but the fields and other areas were barren (of geese that is). That being said there were some other waterfowl to be found, most being in the Main Injector Moat (most everything else was frozen over). Found were American Black Ducks, Redheads (2), Buffleheads (3-Females), Common Goldeneyes (most numerous species about 50), and Common Mergansers. Several American Coots were also mixed in. The Ed Center Feeders were active but not teeming with life. Notable, beyond the expected winter residents, were a Hairy Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrows (3), and a White-crowned Sparrow. Only Horned Larks and a large flock of American Tree Sparrows (25-30) were in the North Roads area. Denis' group pretty well matched this and added a Green-winged Teal. Dave

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A quick, late, stop at the Lab to fill the feeders produced a Short-eared Owl and three Northern Harriers all hunting in the Eola Rd./Batavia Rd area. As expected most of the waters in the Lab are becoming frozen over again. Main Ring Lake had only a sliver of open water. Nothing new for the week was found. Dave

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning having, as a highlight, a Short-eared Owl in this year's typical location east of Eola Road and north of Batavia Road. What made this sighting interesting, was that the owl was found at 9 am perched on a post. Waterfowl found in the area of the Rings were Gadwall (2), Redheads (2), Bufflehead (2), Common Goldeneye (3) and Common Mergansers (13). For raptors, they had Northern Harriers, a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks, and an American Kestrel. Other birds of interest were American Coots (6), Horned Larks and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, February 7, 2016

It seemed colder than the above average temp of 40 plus this morning. This being due to the consistent wind, dampness and overcast skies (became sunny later). Geese numbers on the open waters were way down. We later found many in the corn and bean fields especially in areas associated to open fuddles. Found in the open waters on the east side of the Lab were Canada Geese, a Cackling Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other water birds found were Lesser Scaup and an American Coot. Found in the area of the Ed Center Feeders were Hairy Woodpeckers, American Crows, a Brown Creeper, a White-crowned Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds. Other birds found were several Northern Harriers, a Great Horned Owl, a Northern Shrike and Horned Larks. Denis' group had most of the same birds in addition to adding a female Bufflehead (first of the year). Dave

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It was a very pleasant morning for birding. The Lab was sunny with mild winds and average temps. This being said, there was nothing new to be found. There was much more open water at A.E. Sea bringing many more Canada Geese to the east side of the Lab. Joining them were the Tundra Swans (9), American Black Ducks (pr), Northern Pintails (12 plus) and Common Mergansers. There could have been more hidden by the mass of geese. Additional water birds found in the area of the Main and Injector Rings were Pied-billed Grebe (our winter resident), Redheads, Common Goldeneyes and American Coots (8). The Big Woods were quiet. Only the expected resident woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees were found. Other birds of interest found during the morning were a Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebirds and Red-winged Blackbirds (flock of over a dozen). Dave

Sunday, January 31, 2016

We had a very fowl morning of birding today, birdwise that is (especially for a day in January). The weather was actually quite pleasant, being overcast and warm with minimal wind. Once again Canada Geese were everywhere joined by both a Snow Goose (blue morph) and a Greater White-fronted Goose. Joining the usual Mallards (again large numbers of these also) were Gadwall, American Black Ducks, a Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redheads, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and a Ruddy Duck. Finally, the Tundra Swans of Wednesday were joined by several more - now the count is over 50 birds (again on Main Ring Lake). Many of the geese and other waterfowl were found on a still mostly frozen A.E. Sea. Also, still around were a Pied-billed Grebe and several American Coots (11). The Northern Shrike was again staked-out in the Sparrow Hedge Area. Both Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were found along A.E. Sea. Several male and one female Ring-necked Pheasants were found along North Eola Road. Interestingly, several hunters were parked along South Eola training their dogs about a hour and half previous to this sighting of the pheasants. Make your own conclusions. Other birds of interest found during the morning were Northern Harriers (2), a Northern Flicker, Horned Larks and Eastern Bluebirds. Later in the day Denis added a Canvasback and stated that about half the Tundra Swans still remained. He also found a Cooper's Hawk and an American Kestrel. Dave

Friday, January 29, 2016

The weather was fairly average for a late January day and did not affect the birds. For the most part the waterfowl around the Lab remains the same with Redheads (2), Common Goldeyes and Common Mergansers all in the Main Injector Moat. One exception was the number of Canada Geese. The numbers were down - well over half of what have been typically found recently. The second exception turned out to be the sighting of the day - approximately 40 Tundra Swans were in Main Ring Lake (mostly sitting, lying and standing on the ice). Other water birds sighted were a Pied-billed Grebe and about a dozen American Coots. Other birds found during the morning were a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk (the only bird in the Garden Club), a Great Horned Owl, a Northern Shrike (again in the Sparrow Hedge Area) and several White-throated Sparrows (at Ed Center Feeders). Marcia and Gail were again in the Lab this morning and, in addition to many of the same birds I found, added a couple of American Kestrels, a Horned Lark and, at the feeders, White-crowned Sparrows (4). Dave

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It was much warmer than last Sunday, but the moderate wind and dampness did cause some discomfort. We started out with a Northern Shrike, again, in the Sparrow Hedge area. The Village produced a Cooper's Hawk and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Waterfowl found were Canada Geese (lots near any open water), Redheads, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. About a half dozen American Coots were also found. Interestingly, in one of the open Main Ring Moats, we found over 100 intermediate sized Canada Geese. They all appeared to be the same smaller size, probably Lesser's. None appeared to be Cackling Geese. While checking out the Buffalo savannah owl's nest, a Red-tailed Hawk flew in and appears to be taking up residence for this year's breeding season. Other birds seen during the morning were a Northern Harrier, an American Kestrel, several Horned Larks, a Brown Creeper, Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

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