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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 15Jan 12Jan 10Jan 8Jan 6Jan 5Jan 3Jan 2
Jan 1Dec 27Dec 21Dec 17Dec 14Dec 12Dec 11Dec 5
Dec 4Dec 1Nov 30Nov 27Nov 20Nov 16Nov 13Nov 9
Nov 3Nov 2Oct 30Oct 29Oct 26Oct 25Oct 23Oct 19

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The weather this morning was very good being overcast, calm and cool but warming to about freezing (32 deg) by the time we left the Lab. Bird activity was at a minimum throughout most of the Lab. The still open patches of water did not produce much. A.E Sea had the same 4 Green-winged Teal and nothing else. The only other waterfowl of note were small numbers of Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers found throughout the Lab's open waters. Even the still fairly full feeders showed minimal activity and nothing out of the ordinary. Some of the birds of note were an American Kestrel, a Hairy Woodpecker and an American Robin. The two highlights of the morning were a rarely seen (over the last several years) Belted Kingfisher and a first of the year, Northern Shrike found by Joe. Dav

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It was cool (mid 20's) and overcast but pleasant enough for a mid-winter morning of birding. A sliver of open water on the north end of A.E. Sea held about two dozen Canada Geese and 4 Green-winged Teal (probably the same ones seen there on New Year's Day). A fairly large patch of open water on Lake Law contained several Common Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. Also found in the area were an American Crow, a Swamp Sparrow and several Downy Woodpeckers (7 or 8 in the cattails). The Ed Center Feeders were very active with lots of Dark-eyed Juncos and more Black-capped Chickadees than I have seen together in quite awhile (15-20). Other birds of note at the feeders were a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Fox Sparrow and American Tree Sparrows. A mammal of note there was a Gray Squirrel, popping its head out of the top fill hole of one of the feeders, watching me while I watched the birds. Other birds found around the Lab today were a pair of American Black Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Harrier (hunting inside the Main Ring), Hairy Woodpeckers (Big Woods), a Blue Jay, Horned Larks (Bison Feeders), a White-throated Sparrow and House Finches. Marcia and Gail were in the Lab a little later in the morning. They added several birds for the new period's week totals including a Cooper's Hawk, Rock Pigeon (yes, I missed this one), an American Kestrel, a White-crowned Sparrow and an American Goldfinch (What has happened to this species lately, their numbers are way down in the Lab?). They also found a second Northern Harrier. Dave

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The wind and rain this afternoon did not leave many birding opportunities during a short trip to the Lab. Actually, the highlight of my stay was watching an opossum feeding on seed under the Roads and Grounds Feeders. The only birds worth mentioning were over 200 Common Merganser and several Common Goldeneye in a fairly large opening in Main Ring Lake. Also, the Lesser Scaup still is in the Main Injector Moat. Dave

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It was very cold to start the morning with little warmth added during our stay. The birding was quite unremarkable with no exciting finds to be had. Our highlights were a Lesser Scaup, several Common Goldeneyes, several Common Mergansers, a Hairy Woodpecker (feeders), a Horned Lark (one or more heard in a bare Ag field), a flyover American Robin and a White-throated Sparrow (feeders). Dave

Friday, January 6, 2017

Glenn was in the Lab yesterday and today. He did well with raptors finding 3 Northern Harriers, several Red-tailed Hawks, an American Kestrel and 6 Great Horned Owls. Waterfowl highlights he found were American Black Ducks, a Ring-necked Duck, a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Dave

Thursday, January 5, 2017

It was very cold to start and, although the temps increased throughout the morning, the winds which started by mid morning made conditions even less desirable. Also, the sun came and went during the morning. Just about everything except Main Injector Moats are again frozen over. The cold and later wind did limit bird activity. The feeders were quite active. Beyond the expected winter birds, the highlight birds were a Northern Flicker, Fox Sparrows (3), White-throated Sparrows (2) and White-crowned Sparrows (2). Interesting waterfowl found in the Main Injector Moats were a Lesser Scaup and several each Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other birds of note for the morning were Herring Gulls, Great Horned Owls (2-Big Woods), Hairy Woodpeckers (Big Woods), Blue Jays and several Horned Larks (Bison Feeder area). The most interesting experience for the morning occurred at the feeders. It started last week while I was filling them. I noticed a couple of the bulbous hoppers atop the feeders had gnaw marks from squirrels around the top opening. Sunday I put clamps on the covers over these openings. When I pulled down one of the feeders today, I noticed it being a little on the heavy side. I looked inside and saw a bunch of fur. Tipping the feeder over thinking the critter (squirrel) would crawl out did not produce any movement. In the end I had to take the feeder apart and have a short ceremony. Dave

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Peter reported sighting a Belted Kingfisher along the west side Main Injector Moat this morning. Dave

Monday, January 2, 2017

Denis was in the Lab this morning and added some birds to list of those found yesterday. In addition to finding many of the same birds found on Sunday he added a Northern Harrier, a Wilson's Snipe, Rock Pigeons, Horned Larks, a Song Sparrow, a White-throated Sparrow and a White-crowned Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, January 1, 2017

It was quite cool to start (low 20's) but the sun was bright and the winds calm. This combination provided some good birding and a substantial list of birds to start 2017 and a new 5 year Survey Period for the Fermilab Bird List. First we filled and checked the Ed Center Feeders finding Mourning Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, a Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Juncos and Northern Cardinals. There was still a sizable opening in A.E. Sea. There we found several hundred Canada Geese and 4 Green-winged Teal (only the second January sighting in the Lab). Waterfowl found in the Main Injector Moats were a Ring-neck Duck, a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other birds found in other areas throughout the Lab were American Black Ducks, Mallards, a Great Blue Heron, a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks, an American Kestrel, Herring Gulls, a Northern Flicker, Eastern Bluebirds (about 6), American Robins, European Starlings, American Tree Sparrows (very few), House Finches and House Sparrows. Gail was also in the Lab today and, in addition to many of the birds above, she added a Northern Pintail, an American Crow and American Goldfinches. All in all this was a very good start to Fermilab's 7th, 5-year Bird Survey Period. Dave

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It was cool to start and if it warmed-up you could not tell because the increasing wind more than cancelled any increase in temperature. The warming trend over the last several days opened a small hole in Lake Law which attracted 8 to 10 Herring Gulls during my visit. A much larger opening was created in A.E. Sea on the north end where Lake Law empties into it. This attracted well over a thousand Canada Geese and 3 Common Mergansers. No other species of geese were detected as all the birds eventually flushed. A walk around the Sparrow Hedge area was not very productive with only a Blue Jay, a bunch of Black-capped Chickadees, a couple of American Robins, and a group of approx. 20 American Tree Sparrows being found. A circuit of the Big Woods produced only a pair of Great Horned Owls of note. The Main Injector Moats produced an American Black Duck, a Lesser Scaup, a pair of Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers (10) and a Ruddy Duck. Checking out both Main Ring Woods produced nothing of interest although an American Crow was found along Ring Road. Main Ring Lake added more Common Mergansers (14), a Ring-billed Gull and 2 more Herring Gulls. Even though there was still plenty of seed in the Ed Center Feeders, only a small number of the commonly expected winter birds were in the area. Dave

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The feeders were all filled with great care, in hopes that some birds soon would be there. Sorry, I guess the Christmas spirit has got to me. There were a good number of birds at the feeders, the best being a Hairy Woodpecker and a nice adult White-crowned Sparrow. The other common species were Mourning Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees (lots), White-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos (lots), Northern Cardinals and American Goldfinches. Added at the Roads and Grounds feeders were a Fox Sparrow, a White-throated Sparrow and House Sparrows. Among several Canada Geese and Mallards in the Main Injector Moat were several American Black Ducks, a sleeping Ruddy Duck and 2 fly-in male Canvasbacks. Added in the Main Ring was a Great Horned Owl and a couple of Song Sparrows. Ryan Frantzen of Facilities Engineering showed me a picture of a dead Great Blue Heron, apparently struck by a vehicle along A1 Road. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning and beyond finding most of the birds I had listed above, they added some other interesting sightings. Some of their key birds were a Common Merganser, American Coots (2), American Kestrels (2), an American Crow, a fair number of Horned Larks (12) and a House Finch. Dave

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Here is a review of the 2016 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) held today Sat. Dec. 17, 2016. The weather turned out to be much better than first expected with overcast skies, temps in the low 20's, fairly moderate winds and snow on the ground but none falling. Here I will only be referring to the birds found inside Fermilab's boundaries. We found 45 species, a considerable drop from our record count of last year (2015) of 62 species. This year's numbers are above the average (overall 1976-2015) for the Lab of 41 species but below the average for the last 10 years of 51 species. This number of species (45) was still better than we had anticipated in the days leading up to this year's CBC. Most of our low expectations were due to the diminishing bird populations over the last several weeks, the lack of open water and the predicted weather conditions. There were 6 species of waterfowl found, not bad considering the conditions. The waterfowl found included Canada Geese (386-quite low), Gadwall (1), American Black Ducks (2), Mallards (194), Canvasback (3-new Lab high) and Common Goldeneye (145-about average). Raptors were well represented with Northern Harriers (5), a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks (14), a Rough-legged Hawk and American Kestrels (6-a high over the last several years). The raptor numbers are even more impressive if you include the owls: Great Horned Owls (9), Short-eared Owls (2) and a Barred Owl. All the expected woodpeckers were found in moderate numbers, only Northern Flickers (2) were notably low. Sparrows were fairly well represented with 7 species including American Tree Sparrows (167-below avg.), Fox Sparrows (6-above avg.), Song Sparrows (13), Swamp Sparrows (9), White-throated Sparrows (12-above avg.), White-crowned Sparrows (6-above avg.) and Dark-eyed Juncos (126-a little below avg.). Some of the other birds of note were Great Blue Herons (3), American Coots (2), Northern Shrikes (2), American Crows (3-still low since 2003), Horned Larks (17), Brown Creepers (7-tied highest count from 25 years ago), an Eastern Bluebird and Cedar Waxwings (105-second highest count). Some notable misses were Common Merganser, Wilson's Snipe (we usually get 1 or 2), any gulls, Eastern Screech-Owl (again), Red-breasted Nuthatch and any blackbird (of any species). In conclusion, all three count groups had a fairly productive morning, but the afternoon in most areas was quite disappointing. Dave

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Glenn made a late afternoon trip to the Lab and despite the frozen conditions found some waterfowl including an American Black Duck (in an open ditch) and 22 Common Goldeneye (Main Injector Moat). Other highlights of his visit were a Northern Shrike on west Wilson Road and Horned Larks (60 along the Injector Ring). Hopefully, all of these will hang around for this Saturday's Christmas Bird Count. Dave

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another late afternoon/evening trip to the Lab was quite cold, but clear with minimal wind. The feeders had about the same birds as were found yesterday. The only other birds of note before dark were a Northern Harrier and an American Kestrel. The highlight of the trip was finally contacting an Eastern Screech-Owl, the first of the year. Dave

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The snow this morning was not as bad as we expected, but it, and the 95 percent frozen waters around the Lab did affect the birding and our results. The only water birds of note were several American Coots (3-Main Injector Moat) and Great Blue Herons (3-various locations). Most of the birds we recorded for the morning were found around the Ed Center feeders. Some of the birds found there were American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (3), a White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos (quite a few at each feeder group), quite a few bright Northern Cardinals (including a female with a pronounced whitish forehead) and House Finches. Added at the Roads and Grounds feeders was a male Red-winged Blackbird. Other birds found were a Cooper's Hawk, American Crows (3) and Horned Larks (20 plus at the Buffalo feeders). Dave

Monday, December 5, 2016

A late afternoon visit to the Lab did not produce much. The main target of screech-owls still remain a distant memory. The feeders were filled again, but not much seed had been used. Still, there was a variety of birds in the area including 3 Red-winged Blackbirds (2-males and 1 female). The other birds found there, mostly expected, were Mourning Doves, Downy Woodpeckers, a Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals (quite a few), House Finches and House Sparrows. A mixed flock of Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs was encountered along Main Ring Road. Also found were about a dozen Common Goldeneye (returning to Main Ring Lake for the night) and a Great Horned Owl (heard calling on the Lab's east side). Peter also reported a Peregrine Falcon was sighted from Wilson Hall this morning. Dave

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It was cool and overcast to start the morning. The minimal winds made these conditions quite tolerable. Later, conditions cooled down just before the snow started. There were just a few additions to what was found on Thursday. Found at A.E. Sea and the Sea of Evanescence were a Tundra Swan, Snow Geese (2-probably same ones from Thurs. Actually, they have been around for at least 3 weeks.), Canada Geese (several hundred), an American Black Duck, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal. Sparrows in the area were American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and White-throated Sparrows. Also, another bright House Finch was found. Found in other areas of the Lab, as the snow was starting, were Pied-billed Grebes, Gadwall, Common Goldeneye (2 pr.), Hooded Mergansers (3) and American Coots (about 100). Dave

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The morning was cool, overcast and windy with an occasional mist. First of all, the Education Center Feeders (near the Pine St. Entrance) have been filled. They should be active since the partial filling I made last week was totally cleaned out. There was a number of waterfowl on A.E. Sea early including a couple hundred Canada Geese, Mallards, about two dozen Northern Shovelers and two Snow Geese. These appeared to be the same two Snow Geese found about a week and a half ago (juveniles - one white and one dark). There were still some sparrows in the area, mostly American Tree Sparrows and a couple of Fox Sparrows. Closer to A.E. Sea, several Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were added. A good number of Dark-eyed Juncos and a White-crowned Sparrow were later added in the Garden Club. Found in the area of the Rings were a Pied-billed Grebe, Gadwall (4), Common Goldeneye (2) and American Coots (about a dozen). Interestingly, I found a Great Blue Heron perched inside the west side of Main Ring Woods, most likely to be out of the wind. Dave

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Marcia and Gail were out monitoring birds in the Lab this morning which started out nicely with sunny blue skies. Unfortunately, conditions soon became cloudy and windy. Birds they found in the Main and Injector Ring areas were Common Goldeneye (5), a Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Herons (3), an American Kestrel, American Crows (5 - not typically found in the Ring areas), American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Dave

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It was cool and a little foggy to start but, as the morning wore on, it got more foggy, more windy and cooler. There was more sparrow activity than had been seen for several weeks. Sparrows found in the Sparrow Hedge area were American Tree Sparrows (most numerous species), Fox Sparrows (well represented), Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows and one or two White-throated Sparrows. Found elsewhere were several small groups of Dark-eyed Juncos. Waterfowl found between A.E. Sea the Sea of Evanescence were Canada Geese (small numbers), American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails (3) and Green-winged Teal. Other birds found in these areas were an American Crow, Cedar Waxwings (flyovers), Northern Cardinals (fairly large group) and House Finches (one male was bright red). Other birds found in several locations around the Lab were Common Goldeneye (2 pr.), Great Blue Herons, American Kestrels (4), a Killdeer, a Horned Lark (heard) and American Robins (in a feeding frenzy at some honeysuckle bushes). Peter mentioned observing three Sandhill Cranes (probably the recently resident birds) during the past week. Dave

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The morning was quite cold, partly cloudy with mild winds. The sub freezing temps overnight were sufficient to completely cover A.E. Sea with a layer of ice, thus no bird activity. The Sea of Evanescence was ice-covered as well except for a small opening which a Canada Goose was struggling to fit into. Among the several Canada Geese on the ice were 2 juvenile Snow Geese (one white and one dark). Lake Law was fully open but had only a small quantity of waterfowl including Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, a Canvasback, a Bufflehead and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. A couple of groups of sparrows were encountered in the Sparrow Hedge area which included American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (a good number, but hard to count) and White-throated Sparrows. All in all it was a pretty slow morning with the only other birds of note around the Lab being several Great Blue Herons, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Bluebird and American Robins. Yesterday, Nov. 19 a Greater Yellowlegs (second to the last sighting in the lab for this species) was reported in the Lab, I assume at A.E. Sea. This will probably be one of the last shorebirds of the year. We did not even have any Killdeer today. Dave

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The conditions were very pleasant for a late afternoon visit to the Lab today; with above average temps, mild winds and mostly sunny skies. The only waterfowl of note at A.E. Sea were a large flock of Green-winged Teal (around 85) and a pair of Northern Pintail. Other birds in the area were a Great Blue Heron, American Tree Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow. Sparrows were sparse throughout the Lab, but I did add several Fox Sparrows and a bunch of Dark-eyed Juncos in the Garden Club. Again, the local Cooper's Hawk was on patrol in the Garden Club which probably suppressed the passerine activity there. As dusk was beginning I saw a large, light bird with dark wings flying to the west over South Eola Road. I hurried over to Main Ring Lake and sure enough I found an American White Pelican (now the latest sighting for the Lab) in the water with a large number of Canada Geese, a pair of American Black Ducks and several Hooded Mergansers. Other birds found before dark were American Coots (over 100 in Lake Logo), a Great Horned Owl, an American Crow and several Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The morning started out quite cool, enough to put a thin ice cover over approx. 60 percent of A.E. Sea. The only waterfowl of note there were Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Added at the Sea of Evanescence were Hooded Mergansers. Also at A.E. Sea were Killdeer and a Wilson's Snipe. A pair of Sandhill Cranes were seen foraging in a northern corn field as were several Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs. An American Kestrel was also seen patrolling the area. The sparrows, though not abundant, did still have some variety including American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The two birds we deemed the "birds of the day" are on opposite ends of the yearly distribution charts. First, we had late Great Egrets (2 - tied for the latest sighting in the Lab) fly over A.E. Sea. Then, as we were leaving, a fairly early Rough-legged Hawk was found hunting on the east side of North Eola Road. Dave

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Glenn was out for some late morning birding today and witnessed some more seasonal changes in the birds found around the Lab. Numbers were down at A.E. Sea. Found there were Northern Shovelers (only 3), Northern Pintail (3), Green-winged Teal (still in reasonable numbers with 83) and Ruddy Ducks (5). Other waterfowl found in the Main Ring were Canada Geese (450 - lowest count in quite awhile) and Greater White-fronted Geese (22). Also found there was a pair of Pied-billed Grebes. There was still some diversity in the sparrows found around the Lab including American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Sparrows. Three Sandhill Cranes were found in the Bison Wallow - most likely the same ones around the Lab for the last several months. Other birds of note found around the Lab were an American Kestrel, Horned Larks (20), Lapland Longspurs (52), Red-winged Blackbirds (75) and Rusty Blackbirds (5). His bird(s) of the morning were 9 flyover American White Pelicans (tied for the latest sightings in the Lab). Dave

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The morning started cool, calm and very foggy. With the heavy fog in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region it would have been hard to see anything on A.E. Sea. I decided, instead, to try the Garden Club. There I could hear many sparrows but find few. The problem was soon found in the form of a Cooper's Hawk perched upon a post near the Club's center. After the hawk flushed, the sparrows started to show themselves more readily. Found throughout the area were Song Sparrows (a group of 15-20 migrants), a few White-throated Sparrows, a good number of White-crowned Sparrows (20 plus), Dark-eyed Juncos (lots, now the most numerous species) and the first American Tree Sparrows (about 10-15) of the season. Found at other areas of the Lab were several Swamp Sparrows and a good number of Fox Sparrows (15-20 in Main Ring Woods). American Crows (5) have become more common over the last several weeks, especially on the east side of the Lab. The fog was still too heavy for doing A.E. Sea around 9:00. The fog was not near as thick on the Lab's west side. A large flock of Canada Geese in an Ag field along West Wilson also produced several Greater White-fronted Geese. A quick loop around the Big Woods produced most of the expected species in addition to a Hairy Woodpecker (not always expected) and a Winter Wren. Also of note on the Lab's west side were a couple of American Kestrels and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Marcia and Gail had another rainy morning, but most of it came later in their visit. They had a better sparrow morning than we did on Sunday finding a Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrows (6), Swamp Sparrows (2) and Dark-eyed Juncos (2). They found a large flock of around 100 Mourning Doves (possibly migrants) in the area of the Rings. Other birds of interest found this morning were Wood Ducks (2), a Pied-billed Grebe, a Great Egret ( a late one still hanging around) and an American Kestrel. Dave

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The morning was cool, breezy and mostly cloudy. It did warm up throughout the morning. Except for a Double-crested Cormorant, Lake Law was quite barren, although a Pied-billed Grebe did show up on our return. As typical of late, A.E. Sea showed much more activity than Lake Law. Waterfowl of note were Cackling Geese, Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks and Ruddy Ducks. The overnight rains raised the level of the Sea, but there was still a flat on the north end which produced some Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs (2), and some Dunlin. Sparrows were at a premium. As a matter of fact, passerines in general were quite sparse today. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were American Coot, a Belted Kingfisher (another was found later by the Main Ring - it's been a rarity to have two on the same day for quite awhile now), White-throated Sparrows and a Rusty Blackbird. Birds of note in other areas of the Lab were a Wood Duck, a Great Egret, a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (2), and White-crowned Sparrows. Overall not a very birdy morning. Dave

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sounds like Glenn was pretty busy during his midday trip to the Lab today. Most of his interesting waterfowl were found on A.E. Sea and included Gadwall (2), American Wigeon (1), Blue-winged Teal (3), Northern Shoveler (89), Green-winged Teal (68), Canvasback (2), Redhead (6), Ring-necked Duck (1 at Lake Law) and Ruddy Duck (3). Shorebirds found at A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (7), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), Dunlin (4) and a Wilson's Snipe. Other highlights he had around the Lab were an immature Northern Harrier, American Kestrels (3), American Crows (17 - probably a modern day record for the Lab, at least over recent years), Horned Larks (6), an Eastern Bluebird, American Pipits (7), a Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (2), Swamp Sparrows (5), White-throated Sparrows (3), White-crowned Sparrows (4) and Dark-eyed Juncos (22). Searching various Ag fields he found almost 2,000 Canada Geese. Out of a flock of even more blackbirds (estimated at almost 4,000 birds), he was able to find Red-winged Blackbirds (over 800), Rusty Blackbirds (3), Common Grackles (almost 2,000), Brown-headed Cowbirds (48) and a Brewer's Blackbird. Of the remaining unidentified blackbirds there was probably a similar mix as listed above. Dave

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in this morning but, due to the rain, were unable to perform their usual monitoring route. They did, however, come up with some interesting birds in other locations. They bettered my Great Egret of yesterday by finding two this morning. They located a large flock of blackbirds (about 400) in the North Roads area including mostly Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings (11), Rusty Blackbirds (6), Common Grackles (4) and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Other birds of interest for the morning were Wood Ducks (3), Great Blue Herons (2), an American Kestrel and an American Crow. Also on Wednesday, Peter observed 9 very late Turkey Vultures circling over Wilson Hall. Dave

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The morning was overcast with brief looks at the sun, cool temps and a moderate breeze. Only a pair of Gadwall and a single Double-crested Cormorant were found on Lake Law. Things were much better at A.E. Sea where waterfowl included American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds found around the sea were American Coots, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (4), Dunlin (3), Wilson's Snipe (2-3), and several American Pipits. Sparrow numbers were down considerably today with White-crowned Sparrows now the most abundant species followed by Swamp Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (quite a few were found), Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and a lone Lincoln's Sparrow. Other birds found around the Lab were Cackling Geese, Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, a very late Great Egret, a Hairy Woodpecker, an Eastern Phoebe (also a quite late bird), American Crows, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebirds, a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks and several Rusty Blackbirds (6). My bird of the day was a very inquisitive Winter Wren (possibly 2). Dave

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It was a beautiful fall morning with about average temps, sunny skies and mild winds. All of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. Waterfowl found between Lake Law and A.E. Sea were Gadwall, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks. Shorebirds found at A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (4-5), and Dunlin (3). Sparrow populations are changing with White-throated Sparrows being a close second in number to the Swamp Sparrows (which have been the overwhelming leader to this point). Fox Sparrows numbers are also on the rise. Also seen were some Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of interest in the area were a Belted Kingfisher (working the A.E. Sea shoreline), a singing Eastern Phoebe, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and American Pipits (3 on the flats of A.E. Sea). Dave

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The morning started out mostly sunny, cool and calm, but warmed and clouded up as the morning progressed. The brightness of the morning drove off most of the waterfowl from A.E. Sea much sooner than on Sunday. All that was left when I got there were Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Also there were several Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Found on Lake Law were an American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorants (4-5), Ruddy Ducks (30 plus) and several American Coots. Sparrow numbers were down a little from the last few visits. Found were Field Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow (my first of the season), Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Golden-crowned Kinglets (about 3 to 1 vs Ruby-crowned), Cedar Waxwings (10 plus), an Orange-crowned Warbler and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Found elsewhere in the Lab were Greater White-fronted Geese (2 small flying flocks), an American Kestrel, and Eastern Phoebes (2). Dave

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