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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 24Jan 22Jan 19Jan 17Jan 12Jan 8Jan 7Jan 5
Jan 2Jan 1Dec 29Dec 26Dec 22Dec 20Dec 14Dec 8
Dec 5Dec 2Dec 1Nov 24Nov 20Nov 18Nov 17Nov 16
Nov 15Nov 13Nov 10Nov 9Nov 7Nov 6Nov 3Nov 2

Friday, January 24, 2020

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab today despite the snowy conditions. In addition to the regularly found Common Mergansers they located 2 Gadwall in an open area of the Main Ring Moat. These are the first seen since Jan. 1st when Peter found one. Like other birds we assumed moved back and forth between the Lab and the Fox River, these may be another example. They also located a number of Horned Larks, besides a list of other typical winter resident birds. There was a report of Short Eared Owls being seen hunting their typical area along North Eola Rd on Tuesday evening. Note this portion of the road is closed due to the limited snow removal in some areas of the Lab. Dave

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Even though the winds were in the mid-teens with gusts into the low twenties, many passerines were still active. Flocks of American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos were still found, though in lesser quantities than on Sunday. Other sparrows found were a Swamp Sparrow (new-year), White-throated Sparrows (2-at the feeders) and a White-crowned Sparrow (new-near the feeders). Waterfowl highlights were unchanged with Common Goldeneyes (3), Common Mergansers (12-15) and the missing Redhead was relocated in the Main Injector Moats along with the others. Again, visiting open-country ground feeders, including Horned larks (25 plus) and Lapland Longspurs (8-10), were found in the northern portions of the Lab but more dispersed than on Sunday. The bird of the day was a light morph Rough-legged Hawk hunting inside the Main Ring. At one point it hovered characteristically, dropped its level three times, then pounced on its prey and finally flew off with what looked like a vole. Peter reported also finding a Rough-legged Hawk yesterday (first of the year). His was a dark morph. Dave

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Finally, today we had one of our best birding days of the winter and most certainly for the year. Most of it was quantity, but there was also some nice quality as well. Waterfowl continue to remain unimpressive with Canada Geese (lots), Mallards, Common Goldeneyes (2-males) and Common Mergansers (about half a doz.). There were several large, mostly segregated, flocks of American Tree Sparrows (by far most of the season) and Dark-eyed Juncos found throughout the Lab. This was most likely due to this weekend's weather patterns driving the birds south. The Ed Center feeders, as expected, were quite busy but only produced a couple of White-throated Sparrows as a highlight. A Cooper's Hawk (new year) was found along Indian Creek. The real excitement occurred in the northern portions of the lab with visiting open-country ground feeders including Horned Larks (100 or more), Lapland Longspurs (about 20-new year) and a very bright Snow Bunting (new year). These were found in several groups, but the most interesting finds were 3 Savannah Sparrows (new year-only the 3rd January sighting). Dave

Friday, January 17, 2020

It was another morning of extremely low activity in the Lab today. The bird of the day was a Northern Harrier, which appeared to be a juvenile, hunting the northern portion of the Short-eared Owl area along Eola Rd. A single Horned Lark was found in this same area and a Hairy Woodpecker was near the feeders. Other passerines were very sparse with only two or three sizable flocks found. Only the expected winter residents were included within. With the majority of the Lab's waters mostly frozen over, waterfowl were also in small numbers except for Canada Geese. Interestingly, one small patch of open water in Casey's Pond was jammed with 75 or more Mallards, and only Mallards. Waterfowl of interest were our winter resident Redhead, Common Goldeneyes (2 males) and Common Mergansers (3 possibly 4). All were in various open Main Injector Moats. Dave

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Today was one of the slowest mornings for birding at the Lab in quite some time. Even the expected winter birds were few and far between. The only real highlight of the morning was a Northern Shrike (new for year) for which we had less than pleasing views. Peter spotted it with his scope from the Lake Law Berm in a short tree which was near Eola Rd. The feeders showed little activity and only some expected winter birds were found. I'm embarrassed to report the only other birds worth mentioning were Common Mergansers, Hairy Woodpeckers (2) and an American Robin. Dave

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Wally, Angela and I spotted one possibly two Short-eared Owls along North Eola Road this evening despite the controlled burn preformed yesterday. Denis reported finding 1 yesterday evening as well. These burns were performed as part of a long-term plan to improve the grassland habitat in the area for breeding grassland birds. Over the next several years, grassland areas along Eola Road will be managed using burns, mowing, and tree removal. This will be performed in a patchwork manner to always provide some desirable habitat for both breeding and wintering birds, like the short-eared Owls. Dave

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Temps started in the low 30's and warmed steadily to 40 deg. This warmth was somewhat normalized by the increased winds later in the morning. Large areas of most waters were again ice covered limiting the waterfowl habitat. Highlight waterfowl included Northern Shovelers (new year, 7-in a small opening in Casey's Pond), Common Goldeneyes (1 pair, Main Injector Moat), a Hooded Merganser (new year, male in Main Ring Lake) and Common Mergansers (Lake Law). A couple of male Downy Woodpeckers were having an apparent territorial dispute in a small woodlot. It lasted 7-8 minutes and at times got so intense that both birds were wrestling around in the undergrowth. It only ended when the loser fled the woodlot. Elsewhere, another Downy was heard drumming. A pair of Bald Eagles, most likely the Fermi pair, were seen in the distance soaring together southeast of the Sparrow Hedge. Other highlight birds for the morning were a Northern Harrier (real nice male inside Main Ring), American Crows (group of 7 on east side of Lab), Horned Larks, Song Sparrows (several locations) and White-throated Sparrows (4 in feeder area). Dave

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Again, not a lot of activity around the Lab this morning. Even the number of geese was down from earlier in the week. The only waterfowl of interest were our winter regulars the Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers (lots of these; maybe the lack of geese made them seem more numerous than normal.). The highlights for the morning were a Sharp-shinned Hawk (new for year, at the feeders), an immature Bald Eagle (in tree on west side of Lake Law), a Belted Kingfisher (new, Main Ring) and several Horned Larks. Other new birds for the year were Rock Pigeon, American Robins, a White-throated Sparrow (Ed Ctr. Feeders) and American Goldfinches (feeders). Glenn added another new year bird earlier in the week, a Northern Harrier. Dave

Thursday, January 2, 2020

My first trip to the Lab for 2020 did not yield much excitement. Waterfowl were again dominated by Canada Geese followed by Mallards, a Redhead, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. The pair of Bald Eagles were soaring over the Ed Center Feeders while down to earth (at the feeders) were Mourning Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees, several White-breasted Nuthatches, House Sparrows, House Finches, American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds found for the morning were a Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gulls, Red- tailed Hawks, a Great Horned Owl, a Northern Flicker, Blue Jays, Horned Larks (20 plus), European Starlings, Northern Cardinals and a Song Sparrow. Dave

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Peter and Penny were in the Lab to start the New Year and had some interesting highlights. Waterfowl included a Gadwall (F), a Redhead and a Ruddy Duck (Casey's Pond). He also mentioned several American Crows, but their bird of the day was a Turkey Vulture. This sighting was almost 2 months late or 2 months early, depending on how you want to look at it. Peter also mentioned receiving a confirmed report of an Eastern Meadowlark for the last week of 2019. Dave

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Not much activity today, but some interesting sightings none the less. As for waterfowl, we found a Cackling Goose (possibly more), Canada Geese (possibly the most of the season; they were everywhere), an American Black Duck, Mallards (of course), Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers (2-pair) and a Ruddy Duck (he's back at Casey's Pond). A Horned Lark and a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds were found along the North Roads. The most interesting sighting was finding at least 11 Northern Flickers in the Main Injector area. But the best sighting was finding the two adult Bald Eagles perched in close proximity to the nest they used this past breeding season. Dave

Thursday, December 26, 2019

A late afternoon/evening trip to the Lab today produced a surprise, 3 Short-eared Owls along North Eola Road. The show started a little early today due to the cloud cover. Waterfowl included loads of Canada Geese in many locations, Mallards, Northern Shovelers (2-males in Main Ring Lake), a Redhead (MRL), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. The Ed Center Feeders were sparsely populated, possibly due to the Cooper's Hawk hanging around the area. Other sightings were an American Kestrel, a Barred Owl and a Great Horned Owl. Dave

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Extremely mild temps (mid 30's to the mid 40's during our visit) produced some very interesting birds this morning. Starting with waterfowl, two blue morph Snow Geese were found in the injector area followed later by a white Snow Goose. This third bird, found in the Bison Fields, flushed before we could confirm our suspicions that it might have been a Ross's Goose. Other waterfowl included Cackling Geese, Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Mallards, a Redhead, Common Goldeneye, a Hooded Merganser and Common Mergansers. The bird of the day was yet to come. A Golden Eagle was found on the north side of the Lab. Unfortunately, during the process of confirming its identity, it flew southwest out of the Lab. Other highlights for the morning were Great Blue Herons (2), an adult Bald Eagle, a calling Northern Flicker, Northern Shrikes (2-inside Main Ring) and an Eastern Bluebird. Dave

Friday, December 20, 2019

It was a very mild morning with calm winds and temps starting in the mid 20's. By noon it was in the high 30's. Canada Geese numbers were much reduced from the last several weeks. Even though the number of Common Mergansers today was the highest of the season (60 plus), other waterfowl were disappointing. Others found were Mallards, a pair of American Black Ducks and several Common Goldeneyes. Sparrows were the same as those found during last week's CBC: American Tree Sparrows, a Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows (2-3 at A.E. Sea), White-crowned Sparrows (near the feeders) and Dark-eyed Juncos. The only other birds of note were a couple of female Red-winged Blackbirds along the North Roads. Dave

Saturday, December 14, 2019

This year's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held on Dec. 14 and conducted in all areas of the Lab. The day long count started at 4:30 am and concluded at 4:00 pm producing 51 species of birds. This is about an average number of species found over recent CBC's. The weather was quite nice, at least in the morning, with temps in the low 30's. The conditions degraded in the afternoon when winds picked up and gusts reached 30 mph. The mostly iced over waters did not produce a large number of waterfowl, but the species numbers were about average with Cackling Geese (18-a fairly high number), Canada Geese (3418), American Black Ducks (7), Mallards (469), Northern Shovelers (2), a Bufflehead, Common Goldeneyes (12), Common Mergansers (41) and a Ruddy Duck. Although the species count of Raptors was quite good, the numbers were somewhat low. Red-tailed Hawks were well represented with 19 found. Others included Bald Eagles (2), a Northern Harrier, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk and American Kestrels (2). The highlight of the count was finding 5 owl species with an Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owls (5), a Barred Owl, a Long-eared Owl and a Short-eared Owl. There were no real surprises from the sparrow family with American Tree Sparrows (130), Song Sparrows (14), Swamp Sparrows (3), White-throated Sparrows (6) and Dark-eyed Juncos (251) found. Some of the other highlights of the day's efforts were Great Blue Herons (2), a Wilson's Snipe, Hairy Woodpeckers (13), Northern Flickers (3), a Northern Shrike, American Crows (14-numbers slowly increasing each year after West Nile), a Horned Lark (strangely only one), Brown Creepers (a respectable 4), Eastern Bluebirds (2), a Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwings (a whopping 45), and a Marsh Wren. Dave

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Even though the temps were above average, the brisk winds reduced the comfort level considerably. Still the birding results were quite impressive. First the waterfowl found throughout the Lab were Greater White-fronted Geese, Cackling Geese, Canada Geese (again, lots), Northern Shovelers, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Five Sparrow species were found including American Tree Sparrows (not as many as Thur.), a Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. The best of the highlights were Bald Eagles (1-adult and 1 Juvenile; they were not together), Northern Shrikes (1 in Sparrow Hedge area and 1 on West Wilson) and Eastern Meadowlarks (1 Sparrow Hedge area and 1 North Eola). Other good birds for the day were an American Coot, a Belted Kingfisher, Hairy Woodpeckers, an American Kestrel, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Brown Creeper, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, an Eastern Bluebird and American Robins. Dave

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Lab started out quite cold (in the 20's) but warmed rather quickly into the 40's. Unfortunately, the birds did not respond likewise, except for the Canada Geese which were everywhere. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning. There were not many highlights in our combined list of birds. Waterfowl, beyond the Canada Geese, included a Cackling Goose, Mallards (lots), Northern Shovelers, Common Goldeneye and a Ruddy Duck (Casey's Pond). There were good numbers of sparrows in some locations, but they were limited to American Tree Sparrows (most found to date), Dark-eyed Juncos and a few Song Sparrows. Also found were Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, a Hairy Woodpecker, Horned Larks and American Robins. The only highlight in the Big Woods was a Great Horned Owl that flushed, flew about 100 yds then started hooting. My bird of the day was a Sharp-shinned Hawk in the Sparrow Hedge area which could possibly be a winter resident due to the numerous sightings over the last several weeks. The girls' bird of the day was a juvenile Bald Eagle. Could this be the missing link from their eagle sightings of Monday, i.e. the 2nd offspring from the Fermi eagle family? Dave

Monday, December 2, 2019

Marcia reported sighting 3 Bald Eagles flying together today. There were 2 adults and a juvenile, very possibly part of a family that bred in the Lab this year. Dave

Sunday, December 1, 2019

There were a large number of Canada Geese on A.E. Sea viewed from both the Slots and the Lake Law berm early this morning. Adjoining them was a small number of Mallards, Cackling Geese, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers. The only other waterfowl species found today were several Common Goldeneye. The real highlight of the Sparrow Hedge area, and the day for that matter, was finding 2 Northern Shrikes in the area. Interestingly, they were quite close together (within 50 yards of each other). In addition, a third shrike was found in the Main Injector area. Another highlight was finding 3 American Kestrels in different areas. Most of the Lab was quiet, finding only several Horned Larks, a good number of Dark-eyed Juncos, several American Tree Sparrows and a Song Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It was a very good morning for raptors today in the Lab with finds of a Northern Harrier, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Bald Eagle (again by Casey's Pond), Red-tailed Hawks (the most we've had in a long time) and an American Kestrel. The bird of the day, a Northern Shrike, (a raptor wannabe) was viewed in the Main Injector area repeatedly going down for what appeared to be, at one point, a grasshopper (strange as it may sound at the end of November). Canada Geese were everywhere, but other waterfowl species remain low. Other waterfowl found were a Cackling Goose, Greater White-fronted Geese, an American Black Duck, Mallards, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers. Sparrows were sparse, found mostly in one location, including American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Dark- eyed Juncos. Other birds for the morning were: a Pied-billed Grebe, an American Coot, a Killdeer, a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Flicker, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (one week from latest entry), an Eastern Bluebird, Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings and Rusty Blackbirds (in same location as Denis found them yesterday, Injector area). Other birds found by Denis' group yesterday, not found today, were a Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwings and a Common Grackle. Dave

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and had some interesting sightings starting with their bird of the day a Belted Kingfisher in a tree near Bullrush Pond. Hopefully this bird will make the Lab its winter home. Speaking of winter layovers, they had a nice list of late sparrows. Again, hopefully they'll stick around. Included in the list were American Tree Sparrows (12), Fox Sparrows (2), Dark-eyed Juncos (6), both a White-crowned Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow and finally Song Sparrows (2). I'm surprised at the lack of Song Sparrows. I also had trouble on Monday, finding only 1. Other highlights of their morning were Common Goldeneye (5), a Herring Gull, a Great Blue Heron and American Robins (2). The robin numbers have greatly diminished over the last few weeks. Dave

Monday, November 18, 2019

In for a meeting, I decided to make a morning of it. Not too much different from yesterday, except a little warmer. Lake Law had nothing of note. Most birds in the area were at DUSAF. Only highlights there were Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal, with numbers a little higher than yesterday. The Garden Club showed the only significant sparrow activity with mostly Dark-eyed Juncos, several American Tree Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow. My hopes of a highlight bird were dashed, in the Garden Club, when a Blue Jay emerged from the area of an almost perfect Cooper's Hawk call. American Pipits (15-20) were found in a group along the North Roads with Horned Larks and a couple of Lapland Longspurs. Also found around the Lab were Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, a Killdeer and, at the feeders, a Song Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow. Also, 2 Bald Eagles were reported by Roads and Grounds in the trees north of Casey Pond. Dave

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The only sighting of interest in the Slots this morning was watching a lone Sandhill Crane (this was the bird with the injured wing from the Village pair) foraging the North Slot to DUSAF. Lake Law and DUSAF produced a Cackling Goose, Northern Shovelers and a Northern Pintail. The North Roads were not near as active as Denis described yesterday, although we did manage some field birds despite the high level of farming activity in the area. Most of the birds were Horned Larks, mostly heard. Also found were Lapland Longspurs (heard) and a couple of Snow Buntings. Additional waterfowl included Common Goldeneyes, a Hooded Merganser and Common Mergansers. Also found were a Herring Gull and an American Kestrel. The Ed Center Feeders produced many of the expected feeder birds with only White-throated Sparrows of note. In addition, the bird of the day, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was found here (latest sighting by a month). Unfortunately, it flew off and was not relocated. Dave

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Denis had a class in the Lab today and, with the warming weather, found some interesting birds. Waterfowl found included Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal and Common Goldeneyes. Along the North Roads, amongst heavy farm traffic, they found Purple Finches plus good numbers of Horned Larks, American Pipits and Lapland Longspurs. Additionally, a couple of Bald Eagles were found and, arguably, their bird of the day was the first Northern Shrike of the season. Dave

Friday, November 15, 2019

The final week of the sparrow survey was rather slow, with very few birds observed due to the cold temperatures and snow. Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were all observed. A Hermit Thrush, American Pipit, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper and Eastern Bluebirds are still migrating through. I found my first Hairy Woodpecker of the fall, as well as added Horned Lark to the list of birds observed at AE Sea this autumn. A Bald Eagle was still persisted at AE Sea, with American Coot and a young Pied-billed Grebe. Elsewhere in the lab, Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged Teals, Northern Pintails, American Black Ducks, American Wigeons, Mallards, Gadwall and Wood Ducks were seen. Resident Sandhill Cranes are sporadically seen and heard. The absolute shocker of the week was the really hardy Marsh Wren that has been persisting at AE Sea, seen and heard calling on November 14. Glenn

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It was a typical January morning at the Sparrow Hedge, with mostly cardinals, juncos and chickadees found in small numbers. No highlight birds were found in the area. No waterfowl were found either as all lakes in the area were frozen over. As a matter of fact, the only waterfowl highlight for the morning was a lone Common Goldeneye (first of the season) found in a Main Injector Moat. The Garden Club did produce a good size group of birds including good numbers of White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Northern Cardinals. Several Horned Larks were found along the North Roads. While filling the feeders, a Sharp-shinned Hawk flushed from right above the south feeders. Soon after, the feeder birds came out of hiding. Several Swamp Sparrows showed themselves along with more White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Dave

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Conditions were good with about average temps (upper 30's) and mild winds. Most all of the birds for the morning were found in small numbers. As Glenn found out this week, sparrow migration is winding down fairly quickly although we still managed 9 species. Only Dark-eyed Juncos could be listed as common for the morning. Others found in small numbers were American Tree Sparrows, a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow. These were found between the Sparrow Hedge and the Garden Club. Waterfowl this morning tipped a little more toward the puddle ducks rather than the divers found on Thursday. The Lakes Region produced Canada Geese, a Greater White-fronted Goose (in corn field near Garden Club), a Wood Duck, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers. Other highlights for the morning, found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region, were Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots (still in a respectable number, around 100), a Sharp-shinned Hawk, both a late Sedge Wren and Marsh Wren, and an Eastern Towhee. Dave

Saturday, November 9, 2019

During this past week Glenn made the following observations: The sixth week of the sparrow survey has concluded with sparrow numbers starting to drop off. American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow were all accounted for. In a more exciting turn, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow persist at the Garden Club. Other persisting birds include Sandhill Crane in the village, young Pied-billed Grebes, Killdeer, Great Egret, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren, American Pipit, and Eastern Meadowlark. For a couple of days, a group of 15-20 Rusty Blackbird were present in the Sparrow Hedge, joined on Tuesday by large flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbird and a Brewer's Blackbird, my favorite sighting of the week! My second favorite find was a pair of Tundra Swan on Sunday morning, along with other waterfowl this week including Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck. Glenn

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The morning was cold; that's all I'll say about that. Most of the Sparrow Hedge area was like the girls witnessed yesterday, very quiet. But a few areas, all out of the wind, did provide some birds. There was a fair number of sparrows, mostly in three groups, but without much diversity. Those found were Dark-eyed Juncos (by far the most numerous species), White-throated Sparrows (second most numerous), American Tree Sparrows and Fox Sparrows. Found elsewhere were Song Sparrows and a Field Sparrow. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Towhees (several, surely migrating through) and several Rusty Blackbirds found deep inside the Hedge. Lakes area waterfowl, mostly in Lake Law, included Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead (about 29), Hooded Mergansers (15-20), Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Clearly, the number of individuals showed a shift from puddle ducks to divers. Finally, a pair of Sandhill Cranes were found in the Buffalo Wallow, while others were heard migrating overhead. Dave

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and said, "It was very quiet this morning in the central areas of the Lab." This is an example of how some areas can become bird deserts depending upon the time of year, weather and migration conditions and progression. Highlights of their finds were Northern Shovelers, an American Coot, Red-tailed Hawks (4), a Hairy Woodpecker, an American Kestrel, American Crows (3 - though crows have increased on the fringes of the Lab, central areas have been slower to respond to the West Nile issues), Dark-eyed Juncos (6) and a White-throated Sparrow. Also, Wally reported flushing an American Woodcock while working on the westside of the Lab earlier in the week (Nov. 4). Dave

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The morning started quite cold, well below normal, this fact reinforced by ice on the puddles. The slots produced Northern Shovelers, American Coots and, strangely enough, a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets (migrating through the trees on the west side of the north Slots). Glenn, in the Lab early, spotted a couple of Tundra Swans in the Sea of Evanescence. Other waterfowl in the Lakes Region were Canada Geese, more Northern Shovelers, Gadwall (still well represented), Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead (first 3 of the season) and Hooded Mergansers. Sparrows were again found in fairly small numbers including a Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Additionally, found in the Garden Club were a Chipping Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Walking back to the Red Barn there was a large group of Black-capped Chickadees (10-15) raising heck. Soon Peter spotted a young Sharp-shinned Hawk in a nearby small tree, the subject of their discontent. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes, more American Coots (there were probably 200 or more in A.E. Sea), several Double-crested Cormorants (Lake Law), a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard again), a Winter Wren, Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Bluebirds and an Eastern Towhee. Birds found elsewhere were a Great Egret, a Northern Harrier, a Cooper's Hawk, a Bald Eagle, an Eastern Phoebe and a group of 17 or more Eastern Meadowlarks. Dave

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Last week started with a bang and then I quickly had the wind knocked out my sails due to bronchitis. Although I made it out only four days, my list of 67 species was rather impressive for late October, with standout birds such as six Bonaparte's Gull at Lake Law. The Sparrow Survey had the likes of Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Eastern Towhee. Additional sparrow species found at the Garden Club included three Chipping Sparrows, four Field Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow and a late Lincoln's Sparrow. Speaking of late birds, a number of remnant breeding birds or late migrants persist, including a calling Virginia Rail and a pair of Greater Yellowlegs at AE Sea, a Killdeer, a small regiment of Double-crested Cormorant, a Great Egret and the last immature Black-crowned Night-heron, Eastern Phoebe, House Wren and two singing Marsh Wren. Over ten Pied-billed Grebes persist including some that don't appear to be flighted! Some other notable migrants included 150 plus American Coot, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, both Kinglets, six Brown Creepers, Winter Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds, American Pipit, decent-sized flocks of Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle, and four Yellow-rumped warblers. Ducks included Wood Duck, a lone Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup (x36) and thee Ruddy Duck. Finally, a pair of Sandhill Cranes is still hanging around the village, observed looking into the windows of houses. Glenn.

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