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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 ...Sep 19Sep 16Sep 15Sep 13Sep 9Sep 7Sep 6Sep 4
Sep 2Aug 30Aug 29Aug 28Aug 26Aug 22Aug 20Aug 19
Aug 16Aug 12Aug 8Aug 7Aug 5Aug 2Aug 1Jul 29
Jul 26Jul 25Jul 22Jul 20Jul 19Jul 17Jul 16Jul 15

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The morning's weather was seasonable with temps in the mid 60's to the mid 70's, with mild winds and partly cloudy skies. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were back, although not near as bad as in mid-summer. What appeared to be the reddish-brown Sandhill Crane (the bird released last Saturday) was at the back of one of the slots north of Batavia Rd. The mostly gray, original Village Sandhill Crane flew in from the south and eventually ended up in the Village. We're still waiting for them to get together. I watched one of the several Green Herons, in the south slots, position a Leopard Frog in its mouth then swallow it, head first. Marsh Wrens were also in the area. A Sora was found in the East-West Slots and a Pied-billed Grebe in A.E. Sea. The water levels at the Sea of Evanescence were up again with no mud flats showing. Not much to report from there. Birds found included Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. The best flock of migrant passerines I have seen in quite some time were found along the actual Sparrow Hedge. It consisted of a Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireos, Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Scarlet Tanager, a Blue-winged Warbler (late), a Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warblers, Bay-breasted Warblers, a Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstarts and a Common Yellowthroat. A major distraction, while trying to ID the birds in the flock, was a large number of Cedar Waxwings flittering about. Interestingly, a couple of strikingly plumed European Starlings were traveling with the waxwings. Another much smaller flock of warblers found near the Ed Center included a Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Warblers (many more than I was hoping to find this early), many more American Redstarts and a Northern Waterthrush. Finally, a Sedge wren was reported in the Lab yesterday. Dave

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The morning started out quite pleasant (mid 60's) but later warmed to become quite uncomfortable. Minimal winds had no affect on the birds. The Batavia Rd. Slots only produced several Green Herons and a Sora that seem to respond to a rattle call from a flyover of the Village Sandhill Crane. We looked for but did not relocate the Sandhill Crane that was released yesterday. Our whole morning was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region and the Village area. The level of the Sea of Evanescence has receded even more but did not produce much of interest. The one exception was a lone Long-billed Dowitcher. Other birds found here were Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. Other birds found for the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks, Ring-billed Gulls (2-probably the same ones Glenn found on Friday), Chimney Swifts, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Bell's Vireo (singing intently), a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wrens, and a Gray-cheeked Thrush. The only warblers were American Redstarts (2) and a good number of Common Yellowthroats. Dave

Saturday, September 15, 2018

FYI... This morning a Sandhill Crane was released in the area of the Village. This was a rehabbed bird from Kane County. The bird does have a noticeable limp which is not repairable. The bird is mobile, can fly, feeds well and it has been determined that release into the wild is the best avenue for its future. We are hoping it may hook-up with our remaining Village Sandhill Crane and both will hook-up with some of the many cranes that pass through and over the Lab this fall. If anyone sees this bird in the Lab, please refrain from contacting the Lab because of its limp. This bird has done well after a previous release but was recaptured due to it being found in a busy traffic area in Batavia. During our brief visit to the Lab this morning we also found, in the marsh areas around the Village, Wood Ducks, a Least Bittern (heard), Green Herons, a couple Common Gallinules and several Marsh Wrens. Yesterday, Glenn was in the Lab and mostly checked out the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area. In his travels he found a Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal (10), Northern Shovelers (2), a Pied-billed Grebe, a Sora, a Common Gallinule, Ring-billed Gulls (2-first gulls in some time), a Least Bittern, Green Herons (5), Bell's Vireos (2-still singing) and a Marsh Wren. The Sea of Evanescence produced the usual Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. Elsewhere, he had the Village Sandhill Crane and American Kestrel. Dave

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A beautiful morning to be outside (mid 50's to mid 70's, mostly sunny and starting calm with only mild winds later), as stated by Marcia in her and Gail's monitor report today. We birded separate locations, so I'll combine the results. Starting again at the Batavia Slots there were the usual Green Herons and a single Least Bittern. Lake Law provided a Spotted Sandpiper. The East/West Slots in A.E. Sea had an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron and a Sora. Even though the water level at the Sea of Evanescence had receded to expose mud flats, shorebirds remain poor. Birds found at the Sea were Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region were a fly through Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk (emerging from the path with prey), Bell's Vireos (again, 2 singing across the path from each other), a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Common Yellowthroats, a Nashville Warbler and Indigo Buntings. The lone Sandhill Crane was again heard calling in the Village near Lake Law. Warblers remain very spotty, but the real downer was the girls finding the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season (usually signaling a waning warbler season). Others found were Tennessee Warblers (2), a Cape May Warbler, an American Redstart and more Common Yellowthroats. The girls spotted, possibly, the last Osprey of the season inside the Main Ring. Other birds for the morning were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers, Eastern Wood-Pewees, an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbirds (2-typically the end of their season), an Eastern Bluebird, a Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (2). The girls also had a large flock (around 200) of European Starlings flying around. Dave

Sunday, September 9, 2018

It was cool (55-65 deg) this morning, unlike previous weeks, but quite comfortable. The wind did have some affect in certain areas. The Batavia Rd Slots (at A.E. Sea) were very quiet this morning, finding only a Pied-billed Grebe, some Green Herons and a Sora. The recent rains have raised the level of the Sea of Evanescence removing any mud flats. This fact limited the shorebird diversity to only Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. Not a single Killdeer was found. The one highlight here was the first Northern Shovelers of the season were seen. Also found were Wood Ducks (males were starting to show color) and Blue-winged Teal. The one decent flock of warblers for the morning was found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region, it included a Nashville Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, Bay-breasted Warblers and American Redstarts. Other birds found in the region were a couple of Common Gallinules, Chimney Swifts, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Magnolia Warbler and a Black-and-white Warbler. The surviving Village Sandhill Crane was heard and seen sadly calling in the Village area. Other highlights from around the Lab were an American Woodcock, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewees, a Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Swainson's Thrushs, Cedar Waxwings, a Northern Waterthrush, a Connecticut Warbler, a Chipping Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Dave

Friday, September 7, 2018

Sadly, it was reported that one of the Village Sandhill Cranes was accidently struck by a car today. Apparently, the pair were landing, and one bird was coming in too low over Batavia Rd. and was struck. The bird did not survive. Dave

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The morning rains were an obstacle today but, with the cold front passing through, I wanted to see if it brought down any migrants. The edge of the Big Woods produced only several American Redstarts. The second group of birds I found were in the Ed Center area. It included several Tennessee Warblers, a Magnolia Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warblers (2) and several more American Redstarts. This group was accompanied by both Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Black- capped Chickadees. Hopefully, this is just the leading edge of a productive fall migration. Dave

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Donna reported several finds in the A.E. Slots this morning. These included: Solitary Sandpipers (2 way in the back of the cuts), a Pied-billed Grebe, an actively fishing Double-crested Cormorant, Soras (2), as usual Green Herons (4), a Great Egret and as we heard on Sunday some begging Least Bitterns. She also added an American Kestrel near the Batavia Rd and Eola Rd intersection. Dave

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Again, humidity was the major weather factor for the morning. Luckily the temps were still mild (70's) and the skies were mostly cloudy. The highlight at the A.E. Slots was spotting a Least Bittern, then hearing another 2 or 3 calling (with an apparent juvenile begging call) in the cattails between the Slots. Also found there were the usual Green Herons, immature Black-crowned Night-Herons (2), Pied-billed Grebes (2), a Sora and Sandhill Cranes (a pair calling, then flying over). The most interesting observation in this area was seeing a flyover Great Blue Heron, with an apparent broken leg hanging down. On the way down to the Sea of Evanescence, we found an American Coot, a Common Gallinule and several more Soras. in the A.E. Sea East-West Slots. At the Sea of Evanescence, we found many of the usual suspects including Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, another Black-crowned Night-Heron (our first adult of the year), Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers and a Belted Kingfisher. Other birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were a singing Bell's Vireo, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, common Yellowthroats and a couple of Baltimore Orioles (one a brilliant male). Other stops around the Lab, mostly looking for warblers, did not produce anything of interest. Dave

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Marcia and Gail enjoyed a beautiful, late August morning at the Lab today. Temps were in the 50's and 60's. Warblers were elusive again this morning, but they did get a Tennessee Warbler inside the Main Ring (Note: they also had the expected Common Yellowthroats). Today there were 2 Ospreys in the area of Nest 1. It seems like the majority of our Ospreys have flown the coop. Other birds of interest for their morning were Green Herons (5-three in the A.E. Sea Slots), a Turkey Vulture, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebes (4, they must have been a family), a Willow Flycatcher, a Warbling Vireo, a Red-eyed Vireo, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Goldfinches (with young begging for food), a Common Grackle (they haven't been too common lately), a Baltimore Oriole, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Indigo Bunting. Dave

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The conditions to start were great being cooler, less humid, cloudy with minimal wind. It started to drizzle about mid-morning but had little effect. Not much happening at the A.E. Slots, finding only Green Herons (6) and Soras (3, others found in Lakes region). Next on the agenda was a trip around the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region. On a dead tree at the south end of A.E. Sea I found a couple of juvenile Cooper's Hawks. Soon they were accompanied by an adult male and an adult female, no doubt a family group. Later, the juvenile Cooper's Hawks were seen buzzing the area between the Sea's; one time causing a Belted Kingfisher to vocally object persistently. An immature Bald Eagle was flying up and down A.E. Sea. The overnight rains raised, although not significantly, the level of the Sea of Evanescence. No new arrivals were found from Denis' observations of yesterday (there were probably less birds today). Those found were a Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, a Least Sandpiper and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Other birds found in the area were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Phoebe, a Bell's Vireo (still singing), Sedge Wrens (2), a Brown Thrasher, an Indigo Bunting and a Baltimore Oriole. Disappointing was the fact that no warblers were found. In the area of Sunday's finds, there were only several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and a couple of brilliant, male Baltimore Orioles. The Big Woods provided a Red-eyed Vireo and a female Scarlet Tanager. The only Osprey found was near Nest 1, just finishing a meal. Dave

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Denis was in this morning to check out the shorebird situation at the Sea of Evanescence. First of all, the Short-billed Dowitcher (first of the year) he found there yesterday, during a short stop, was no longer in the area. His finds this morning were Semipalmated Plovers (5), Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (lots), Semipalmated Sandpipers (at least 2), Least Sandpipers (about 12) and Pectoral Sandpipers (at least 12). On the way back, he was still hearing a Bell's Vireo and Chimney Swifts overhead at Lake Law. Earlier in the morning Donna had a Pied-billed Grebe, a Hooded Merganser, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets, all in the A.E. Slots. Dave Shemanske noticed a second pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Village this morning. This pair appeared more worn than the pristine Village pair we have been watching all season. That's what easy living will do for you. Dave

Sunday, August 26, 2018

It was very foggy this morning, and we could only see about half way down the Slots. We did, however, have a couple of Least Bitterns, several Green Herons and a Pied-billed Grebe in the area. After we finished with the Slots, due to the heavy fog, we decided to look for warblers and other migrants. Most of the time was spent in the area of the Ed Center and we did quite well. Warblers found were Tennessee Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, a Blackburnian Warbler, Black-and-White Warblers, American Redstarts (lots of these of all ages and sexes), an Ovenbird and Common Yellowthroats. Other birds found during the morning were Chimney Swifts, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Hairy Woodpeckers, Yellow-throated Vireos (2), Warbling Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (lots of these, also), an Eastern Bluebird, Brown Thrashers (pr), Cedar Waxwings, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Orioles. Peter stopped back at the Lab after donuts and confirmed the successful breeding of the Common Gallinule by finding a juvenile in the slots. Also, he walked back to the Sea of Evanescence and had many of the same shorebirds as recent visits including both Semipalmated Plover and Semipalmated Sandpiper. Both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal were also present. Dave

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The weather this morning was great with temps starting in the mid 50's and ending in the mid 70's. At the A.E. Slots a juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron was seen hunting, then it snapped up a small bullhead. Also in this area were a juvenile Pied-billed Grebe and several Green Herons. The shorebirds at the Sea of Evanescence included Killdeer, Solitary Sandpipers (2), good numbers of both Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs, a Pectoral Sandpiper and Least Sandpipers (7-8). Also, at the Sea were Wood Ducks and 42 Great Egrets (another 17 were later found at Andy's Pond). Other birds in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were a Cooper's Hawk, Soras, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Bell's Vireos (several juveniles and a singing male in a different location) and Marsh Wrens. An Osprey was on Nest 2, probably maintaining its claim on the nest after Monday's tussle with the eagle. Both Adult Osprey were patrolling the area around Nest 3, while only 1 Osprey was around Nest 1. The first migrant warblers of the season included a Tennessee Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler and an American Redstart. Other birds of interest for the morning were a Hairy Woodpecker, a Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireos (2), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a molting, male Scarlet Tanager (most likely a migrant also), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dave Shemanske reported an interesting confrontation today between an Osprey and a Bald Eagle at Nest 2. After some interaction the eagle ended up atop the perch above Nest 2. Interestingly, this may be a clue as to the failure of Nest 2 this year and the loss of the 3 chicks. Apparently, we will never know for sure. Besides, this was our first Bald Eagle sighting in the Lab for some time. Dave

Sunday, August 19, 2018

It was another warm, mostly sunny morning at the Lab. The juvenile American Coot was again found in the slots along Batavia Road still in the company of several Mallards. Also found here were Green Herons and Soras. Both these species were found in other areas of the Lakes Region in good numbers ( Green Herons: 15-20, Soras: about 10). Shorebirds at the Sea of Evanescence showed a little more variety today. Found at the Sea were Killdeer, a Semipalmated Plover, a Solitary Sandpiper, Several Greater Yellowlegs, quite a few Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers (2) and a Pictorial Sandpiper. Also, at the Sea were a Black-crowned Night-Heron, Great Egrets (at least 47, only 1 was found at DUSAF today), Wood Ducks and a couple of Belted Kingfishers. Also found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were several Pied-billed Grebes, several Chimney Swifts (first recorded for the year although Denis did have some yesterday), a singing Bell's Vireo and Cedar Waxwings. An adult Osprey was perched above Nest 2. An Eastern Bluebird and a couple of Baltimore Orioles rounded out a rather short morning. The two big misses of the morning were: First, not finding a Caspian Tern after seeing at least 1 on each trip for the last two months. Second, I personally did not have a single mosquito all morning (no complaints on this one). Finally, on her way thru the Lab later, Donna reported that the Village Sandhill Cranes are still alive and well. Dave

Thursday, August 16, 2018

It was another very humid morning in the Lab. The A.E. Slots only gave up a juvenile American Coot among a group of around 16 Mallards. It appears DUSAF Pond is the new hot spot for Great Egrets. I counted 54, but I'm sure more were around the bend. I walked the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region and, even though most of the shrubland was very quiet, some interesting birds were found. There was a good number of shorebirds at the Sea of Evanescence but not much variety. Those found were Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (3-4) and Lesser Yellowlegs (20 plus). The bird of the morning, flushed from the Sea as I approached, was a Black-crowned Night-Heron. Other birds found in the region were Wood Ducks, Green Herons (5), a Caspian Tern, Bell's Vireos (2 in separate locations), a single Sedge Wren (the only grassland bird of the morning), Cedar Waxwings (6-8) and Eastern Towhees (2). A very large flock of blackbirds was found on the northside of the Lab consisting of mostly Red-winged Blackbirds, with some European Starlings, a couple of Brown-headed Cowbirds and a Common Grackle. Only 2 Osprey were found today, 1 juvenile near Nest 1 feeding on a fish and the other in the area of Nest 3. Other birds for the morning were Sandhill Cranes (the Village pair), Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (3), an American Kestrel, an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Indigo Buntings (including a family consisting of an adult male and 3-4 juveniles) and a Baltimore Oriole. It turns out that Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning and had many of the same birds listed above. Their perspective was, as usual, from the Main and Injector Ring areas. First of all, they added another Osprey. It's hard to tell how many actually remain in the Lab, but surely the number is dropping since they are seldom found outside the Ring areas. Some of their other birds added to the day's tally were a pair of Sandhill Cranes (I assume this was the Village pair) Northern Flickers (3), another American Kestrel, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Willow Flycatcher, another Sedge Wren, a Chipping Sparrow and more Indigo Buntings (3). Dave

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The weather this morning was unremarkable being sunny, with mild temps (65-75) and minimal winds. The best bird at the slots was a flyby Belted Kingfisher. Also found were an American Black Duck, several Green Herons, an adult and juvenile American Coot, a Least Bittern, and a flyby Caspian Tern. The only shorebirds found were at the Sea of Evanescence. Those found were Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Also, at the Sea were Wood Ducks, a couple of Blue-winged Teal and a Hooded Merganser. Other birds in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Soras (2-below the Lake Law spillway), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a singing Bell's Vireo, Sedge Wrens and a Baltimore Oriole. Found elsewhere around the Lab were a Warbling Vireo, more Sedge Wrens (they have become quite active late this breeding season), Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Brown Thrasher and an Eastern Towhee employing a strange non-typical song. Dave

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The weather this morning can be summed up with one word, humid. The morning started out quite good at the A.E. Sea Slots with a juvenile American Coot among a group of around 40 Mallards. Also in the area was a flyover Green Heron, a Common Gallinule (heard) and a Least Bittern that flew across the three slots landing on the edge of the cattails. A trip around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region produced another 14 Green Herons and 4 Caspian Terns over A.E. Sea. The number of Great Blue Herons (5) and Great Egrets (12) at the Sea of Evanescence were well below most previous numbers. A Solitary Sandpiper and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs were along the Sea of E's shores (several other shorebirds were too far to ID). An Alder Flycatcher, only the second fall migration sighting in the Lab, was found singing in the center section of the area. Other birds found in the area were Wood Ducks, a Northern Flicker, Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens and a Cedar Waxwing. Osprey were found throughout the Lab. Oddly one was found along Wilson Road in a tree overlooking a bean field with no water feature within 3 quarters of a mile. One Osprey was at Nest 2, 1 was near Nest 3 and 4 were found in the area of Nest 1. Work had been done on Nest 1 as there was a black wad of what looked like garden fabric, recently added. Small numbers of grassland birds remain in some areas including several Sedge Wrens, several Henslow's Sparrows, a Dickcissel and an Eastern Meadowlark. Other birds found for the morning were Sandhill Cranes (Village pair), a Spotted Sandpiper (a young bird, possibly the chick found last week), Solitary Sandpipers (2), a Hairy Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireos and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Glenn has returned and spent much of the morning in the Lab monitoring mostly on the east side. Starting at the Slots he spotted an adult Common Gallinule, a Pied-billed Grebe and a single Wood Duck. Interestingly, he heard a Least Bittern calling, but this time from the marsh on the north side of the road which is part of DUSAF Pond. Also, at A.E. Sea was a Caspian Tern and seen from the area was an Osprey flying east from the Main Ring, apparently to do some offsite fishing. There were still some late singing Henslow's Sparrows (5) along Eola Road. A pair of Eastern Phoebes with some young were found on the north side of the Lab. Nearby a couple of Juvenile Horned Larks were found feeding in a recently seeded area. Other highlights of the morning were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Northern Flicker, American Kestrels (3), Eastern Bluebirds (6 around the bison area), a Cedar Waxwing, a Chipping Sparrow and Indigo Buntings (11 singing males around the Lab). Dave

Sunday, August 5, 2018

It was a warm summer morning, but the cloudy skies and moderate breeze made it quite bearable. The Slots had no Wood Ducks and only a few Mallards, a Green Heron and a Common Gallinule (heard). But, the real news here was finding a juvenile American Coot, the first confirmed breeding of this species in the Lab. An adult coot was also found nearby. A group of 6 Sandhill Cranes also flew over as we monitored the Slots. Most of the rest of the morning was spent searching for shorebirds. Found in the small amount of shorebird habitat around the Sea of Evanescence were Lesser Yellowlegs (5-7), Stilt Sandpipers (2-firsts for the year), a Pectoral Sandpiper (a first for the season) and Solitary Sandpipers (2-3). Shorebirds found in the northern fuddles were Killdeer (8-10), Spotted Sandpipers (2), another Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper. Also found in the area was a rare Northern Bobwhite, the first Lab sighting in 13 years. We only heard the bird, but tracked it around a small woodlot, across the road and into a corn field where it continued to call for quite some time. As with most of the other Bobwhite sightings, this was most likely a released bird. Other highlights of the morning were Caspian Terns (2 at A.E. Sea), a Horned Lark, Purple Martins (5-6), an Eastern Bluebird and a Vesper Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Had a pretty good start to the morning at the A.E. Sea Slots hearing a Common Gallinule (Later in the day Donna saw a Gallinule in the same area which is near the former nest) and seeing a Least Bittern fly into the cattails. The number of Mallards was down to about 12, the pair of Black Ducks were at the back of the Slots and only 1 Wood Duck was found. Apparently, as I found later, a number of the Wood Ducks have moved to the Sea of Evanescence. A trip around the Sparrow hedge/Lakes region was productive, though no surprises were found. A Bell's Vireo was singing quite intently along the path back to the Hedge. At least a half dozen Caspian Terns were hunting at A.E. Sea. A family of 5 Eastern Kingbirds were in a dead tree at the south end of the Sea. A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, several American Robins and about 5 juvenile Baltimore Orioles were found cleaning the cherries off a Wild Black Cherry tree. Along with the large numbers of Great Blue Herons (24) and Great Egrets (34) at the Sea of Evanescence, a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs were found. Other birds found in the area were a Pied-billed Grebe, Green Herons, Northern Flickers, Willow Flycatchers (singing), Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens and House Finches (not a regular here). Returning past Lake Law, a Herring Gull set down on the lake, worked a dead, small Mallard duckling into position, then swallowed it whole. Shorebirds found in the remaining north side fuddles were Killdeer (10), a Semipalmated Plover (1st of season), Spotted Sandpipers (an adult and a very young fuzzy chick), Lesser Yellowlegs (2 more) and a Least Sandpiper. Other birds found were an American Kestrel, Great Crested Flycatchers and an American Redstart. Osprey Nest 2 had 1 adult on the perch above the nest. They appear to still be around after their disappointing season. No Osprey were around Nest 3. Nest 1 had one adult and 1 juvenile in the area. Later, an adult Osprey was flying over the Main Ring area and slowly headed to and landed on Nest1. A juvenile that was flying high over the adult all this time, landed on the nest soon after and proceeded to eat the fish. Less than a minute later another juvenile flew in to join the party. Dave

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning surveying the Rings and some other areas. Starting at the A.E. Sea Slots they found about 50 Mallards as expected (recently), but the surprise was finding only 2 Wood Ducks (they must be dispersing). A total of 5 Osprey were found in the areas of Nest 1 and Nest 3. Their best find of the morning was a Northern Harrier, the first reported in almost 3 months. This week is typically the first fall migration sighting of a harrier in the Lab. Also, another bird not reported in quite sometime was a Herring Gull or any gull for that matter. Other birds of interest recorded for the morning were Green Herons (3), Turkey Vultures (2), Sandhill Cranes (2), a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Red-eyed Vireo, a Savannah Sparrow and Indigo Buntings (3). Dave

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The morning was very pleasant with temps ranging from the mid 50's to the mid 70's, mostly sunny skies, and no wind at all. Starting at the A.E. Sea slots where, among the large numbers of Wood Ducks and Mallards, we found a pair of American Black Ducks. We also heard a Common Gallinule in the cattails and had a flyover Green Heron. We had an exceptional trip around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. Starting out, we watched a Sora foraging just below the Lake Law spillway. In some bare willows on the south shore of A.E. Sea, there were 75-100 swallows including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows and Barn Swallows; only missing were Cliff Swallows. To round out this family we found approx. 20 Purple Martins near the Sea of Evanescence. Also, at the Sea of E, along with the usual big numbers of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets (approx. 15 ea.), was a Black-crowned Night-Heron. On our trip back to the Red Barn we heard then viewed a Black-billed Cuckoo. Other highlights found in the area were a Pied-billed Grebe (heard), more Green Herons (5), a Caspian Tern, a Bell's Vireo, Sedge Wrens and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Shorebirds found in the remaining north side fuddles were Killdeer (about a doz.), Spotted Sandpipers (3), a Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (3) and Least Sandpipers (3). The Sea of Evanescence had several shorebirds on distant shores, but with no scope we could only guess at Lesser Yellowlegs. No birds were found in the area of Osprey Nest 3, while Nest 1 had 4 nearby. The only other birds of note were a Pied-billed Grebe (this one seen), Sandhill Cranes (pr. in Village) and an American Kestrel. Dave

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Marcia and Gail's big find of the morning was a Common Gallinule in the A.E. Slots, the first sighting in almost 3 weeks. The typical large numbers of Wood Ducks (17) and Mallards (about 50) were also present. Shorebirds in the north end fuddles were Killdeer (11), a Spotted Sandpiper and a Lesser Yellowlegs. Unfortunately these fuddles, being the only viable shorebird habitats, are drying up and, without further rain, will be gone soon. Other birds of note for their morning survey were Green Herons (2), Osprey (2 adults and 3 juveniles), Sandhill Cranes (2), a Caspian Tern, an American Kestrel, Willow Flycatchers (2), a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Bluebirds (3), Indigo Buntings (6), a Dickcissel and Eastern Meadowlarks. Dave

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Nothing exceptional was found at the A.E. Slots this morning. There was the same large number of Wood Ducks, an exceptionally large number of Mallards of all ages (75-100, hard to tell because many dispersed into the cattails) and the usual chattering Marsh Wrens (including one very inquisitive individual that came quite close). A trip thru the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region produced the following birds of interest: A Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Herons (20) and Great Egrets (30 plus) at the Sea of Evanescence, a pair of Green Herons, Caspian Terns (2-Lake Law and 1-Sea of E), Willow Flycatchers (several still singing), Sedge Wrens (east of Lake Law Berm) and a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. On my return, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was heard cooing in the Village. No Osprey were found in the area of Nest 2 although Dave found both adults on the nest yesterday afternoon. All 5 Osprey from Nest 1 were found in the immediate area. At Nest 3, one juvenile and an adult were on the nest with the other juvenile perched two power poles away. Then the other adult flew to the nest with a small fish. As soon as it hit the nest, the juvenile grabbed it and shielded it with its body and outstretched wings, then started eating. Shorebirds were found in a couple of fuddles, though not in a large quantity, but had good diversity for the early season. Included were Killdeer (about a doz.), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Solitary Sandpiper, a Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs (3) and Least Sandpipers (2). Other birds during the morning were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Hairy Woodpecker, an American Kestrel, Great Crested Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (2), an Eastern Bluebird, an American Redstart, Henslow's Sparrows and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The cooler temps this morning was a welcome relief, and the on/off misting did not bother us at all. There were still lots of Wood Ducks, of varying ages, in the A.E. Sea Slots. A Green Heron and 2 Caspian Terns flew by the area, while a Pied-billed Grebe was heard in A.E. Sea. The first Greater Yellowlegs of the season was found in a north side fuddle along with a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers (9-10), a Spotted Sandpiper and, of course, several Killdeer. Swallows were just about anywhere you looked including Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, several Rough-winged Swallows and a Bank Swallow (a somewhat rare sighting this year). No Ospreys were found in the area of Nest 2. At the base of the nest we found several feathers still containing their sheaths. Our current thought is that the nest was a subject of predation. All 5 of the remaining Osprey juveniles have fledged from Nests 1 and 3. All but one was in the area of their respective nests (the missing one was from Nest 1). Each nest had one of the adults in their areas. Dickcissels were still singing in some areas and a couple of American Kestrels were found. Dave

Friday, July 20, 2018

It seems the Nest 2 Osprey pair is still loyal and hanging around their nest. Dave Shemanske spotted the pair at the nest around 10:00 am this morning. Dave

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Marcia and Gail were again monitoring their areas in the Rings this morning. In the Injector area they ran across large flocks of both Tree Swallows (47) and Barn Swallows (22). Four Ospreys were found at each of Nest 1 (one of the adults must have been out hunting) and Nest 3 (including both adults and both chicks). Shorebirds found during the morning were Killdeer (4), Spotted Sandpipers (3), a Solitary Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs (2). Other birds of interest found during the morning were Wood Ducks (21-mostly juveniles in the A.E. Sea Slots), Green Herons (5), Sandhill Cranes (2), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Willow Flycatchers (2), Sedge Wrens (2), Marsh Wrens (4), Cedar Waxwings (2), a Savannah Sparrow, Indigo Buntings (6), Dickcissels (3) and Eastern Meadowlarks (2). Earlier in the morning Donna found an American Coot in the A.E. Slots. Dave

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The morning was quite pleasant for the last grassland bird survey of the season (temps mid 60's to low 80's). The grasslands showed quite a bit of activity for mid-July. Birds found included Sedge Wrens (22), Field Sparrows (14), Henslow's Sparrows (11), Dickcissels (31), a Bobolink (yes, just 1 juvenile) and Eastern Meadowlarks (18). Birds found later in the Sparrow Hedge-Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes, Green Herons, Caspian Terns (2), Willow Flycatchers, a Bell's Vireo, a Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (2) and Indigo Buntings (pr). Shorebirds were similar to Sunday including Killdeer (15 plus), Lesser Yellowlegs (6) and Least Sandpipers (2). Other birds found were a Turkey Vulture (a high flier), a Blue-winged Teal, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Phoebe and Savannah Sparrows (2). All Ospreys from Nests 1 and 3 were accounted for this morning (at Nest 1: 2 adults and 3 chicks; at Nest 3: 2 Adults and 2 chicks). There appears to be another Osprey nest mystery, this time surrounding Nest 2. On June 20th and 27th, 3 chicks were seen on Nest 2. Unfortunately, over the last two weeks the nest has been barren except for occasional sightings of one or both adults. Further investigation will have to be taken. Early in the morning, Donna had 2 Least Bitterns in the A.E. Sea Slots, one giving her great looks. Dave

Monday, July 16, 2018

Peter spotted a Forster's Tern on the west side of the Lab today. Dave

Sunday, July 15, 2018

We started the morning again at the A.E. Slots, finding a good number of Wood Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe (heard), a Least Bittern (giving us some great looks, then flying right at us until it veered off landing deep in the cattails) and the usual noisy Marsh Wrens. Lake Law again provided a hunting Caspian Tern, also a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was found sampling flowers along the shoreline. An attempted trip to the far southwest area of the Sparrow Hedge area was cut short by the large numbers of viscous mosquitoes and deer flies (now increasing in numbers). Driving along the Eola Road grasslands we still heard many Dickcissels, some Eastern Meadowlarks, several Sedge Wrens and a couple of Henslow's Sparrows. After the first Lesser Yellowlegs found by the girls on Thursday, the fall shorebird migration has gone to the next level. Found this morning were more Lesser Yellowlegs (4) and several Least Sandpipers (3) in fuddles on the north end of the Lab. Interestingly, we also found 4-5 Spotted Sandpipers walking on lotus leaves in Main Ring Lake along with a Green Heron (it dipped into the water catching, then eating, a small fish). Also found were a pair of Sandhill Cranes, an American Kestrel, a Cedar Waxwing and Indigo Buntings (an adult male and a juvenile). Later Donna returned to monitor the Osprey nests and found 3 chicks and both adults (nearby) at Nest 1. Nest 2 appeared empty (this is what we witnessed earlier in the morning, though we did see an adult fly by) and at Nest 3, one of the adults watched the 2 chicks as they hopped up and down testing their wings (appearing to be close to fledging). Dave

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