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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 ...Oct 15Oct 11Oct 9Oct 8Oct 5Oct 1Sep 26Sep 27
Sep 24Sep 21Sep 20Sep 17Sep 14Sep 10Sep 6Sep 3
Sep 1Aug 30Aug 27Aug 24Aug 23Aug 20Aug 16Aug 13
Aug 10Aug 9Aug 6Aug 3Jul 30Jul 26Jul 23Jul 19

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Despite the cool temps and the extremely strong NW winds, we had a phenomenal morning of birding. In addition, the heavy rains of Saturday greatly raised the levels of the lakes around the Lab. This wiped out most of the shorebird habitat at Lake Law and all of the habitat at A.E. Sea. As a consequence, shorebirds were at a premium with only a couple each of Killdeer and Greater Yellowlegs. We also added a couple of Wilson's Snipe, but these were flushed in thick marshy areas. Waterfowl were somewhat sparse compared with our last several visits. Those found were Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Mallards, Gadwall, Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers (much small numbers than earlier in the week), Green-winged Teal, a Hooded Merganser and a Ruddy Duck. It was a day for eagles with 3 Bald Eagles (2-Adults and 1-Sub Adult) and a Golden Eagle migrating thru. Because of the strong winds, the sparrows were mostly heard and not seen. Those found were Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows (most numerous species, again), White-throated Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Turkey Vultures (2-3), Sandhill Cranes (5-west side of L.Law), a Merlin (migrating high), several Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Palm Warbler. Found in the A.E. Sea Slots along Batavia Rd. were several Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night-Herons (3) and a Least Bittern. Interestingly, the skies were filled with Great Egrets most of the morning, seemingly not able to find suitable foraging areas due to the high waters. The bird of the day was also a first for the Lab (new for the Fermi Birdlist) a Laughing Gull. It was in the center of Lake Law early on, but not to be found upon our exit of the area. Lastly, Glenn had a first of the year Harris's Sparrow yesterday (Saturday) east of the Lake Law Berm. Dave

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Not a pleasant morning for birding but there were birds to be found. The main birding deterrent were the fairly strong NE winds. The accompanying on and off showers had little effect. American Crows have been quite prevalent over the last month or so. This morning one was seen harassing a Cooper's Hawk as the hawk was trying to catch a shorebird breakfast at Lake Law. Shorebirds that remained were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (3), a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers and Long-billed Sandpipers (2). The only new waterfowl for the season found in the Lakes Region were several Gadwall. Other waterfowl found today were American Wigeons, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal. Sparrow numbers were down in the Sparrow Hedge Region, but some other areas of the Lab had larger concentrations. Found today were a Clay-colored Sparrow (in Garden Club), a Field Sparrow (also in Garden Club), Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flickers, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (a flock of about 20 birds), Eastern Bluebirds and Palm Warblers. Warblers found elsewhere were a Nashville Warbler and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Roads and Grounds personal had a very interesting sighting this morning of an adult Bald Eagle rearranging nest material at Osprey Nest 2. The eagle was also seen trying to select sticks from a brush pile before being disturbed. They also reported several Sandhill Cranes in the Buffalo Wallow along Road D. The bird of the day was a very boisterous Red-shouldered Hawk heard then seen at the far southeast corner of the Sparrow Hedge area. Dave

Monday, October 9, 2017

Al Stokie was in the Lab today and was able to get both a Le Conte's Sparrow and a Nelson's Sparrow. In addition, he had a flyover Snow Goose(white) and five Long-billed Dowitchers. Dave

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A cloudless sky greeted us this morning. While a little cool to start, it quickly warmed into the mid 70's. The whole morning was spent in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. The first bird of the morning was an immature Bald Eagle, flying south over Lake Law. Shorebirds at Lake Law were not too impressive, found there were Killdeer (still in good numbers), a Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Waterfowl still continue to trickle in. Interestingly, some of the first sightings of these season birds are 2 to 3 weeks behind schedule. I would guess September's abnormally high temps kept the birds up north longer. Found in the Lakes Region were Wood Ducks, American Wigeons, American Black Ducks, Mallards (of course), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, a Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Mergansers and a Ruddy Duck. Sparrow diversity was down a little. Those found were Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (well over half the sparrows found), White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the area were an American Coot, a Herring Gull, Great Egrets (over 90 at A.E. Sea), Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (2), a Hairy Woodpecker, American Crows, Marsh Wrens (quite active in some areas), Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush, a very late Yellow Warbler (latest ever at the Lab) and a Palm Warbler. Dave

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Al Stokie was in again this morning and had the first White-fronted Geese (6) of the season fly in and land right in front of him at Lake Law. The only shorebirds found were Killdeer and Pectoral Sandpipers (26). Other birds of interest were Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (2), Sandhill Cranes, Eastern Phoebes (2), Barn Swallows (2), American Pipits (2) and Swamp Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I have only partial reports from the Sunday birding by Peter and Denis. It appears sparrows are now migrating thru the Lab with good variety. Of the 8 species found, Le Conte's Sparrows and Nelson's Sparrows were the highlights. Others reported were Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds mentioned were a Ruby-crowned Hummingbird, a Sandhill Crane, a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Tennessee Warbler and a Magnolia Warbler. Dave

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Al Stokie was in on Tuesday and came up with several very good birds in the Lake Law area. The best of these were an American Golden Plover and a Merlin chasing some shorebirds. Other birds of interest were a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpipers (2 together), still a good number of Pectoral Sandpipers (22), a Juv Stilt Sandpiper, an Eastern Phoebe, American Crows and an American Pipit. Dave

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The morning was mostly cloudy and in the 60's with moderate winds. At Lake Law, the number of Pectoral Sandpipers was almost equal to the number of Killdeer (although Killdeer numbers were down from that of the past few weeks). The only other shorebirds of interest were a Greater Yellowlegs and a Stilt Sandpiper. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes (4), American Coots (2), a Green Heron, a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, an Eastern Phoebe, a Warbling Vireo, American Crows (2-3), Marsh Wrens, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (a season first), a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings (again mostly Juv's), an American Redstart (only warbler, except for yellowthroats), Eastern Towhees, Lincoln's Sparrows (3), White-throated Sparrows and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The Great Egrets were again in DUSAF Pond (60 plus). Found elsewhere in the Lab were an American Kestrel, Hairy Woodpeckers, a Blue-headed Vireo (1st of the year, eating a large grub), Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler and a Fox Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Again the morning started comfortably in the 70's but reached into the upper 80's by our departure. The mild winds had no effect on the birds nor provided any cooling for us. Lake Law continues to produce a nice collection of shorebirds. Found today were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, a White-rumped Sandpiper, a Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Stilt Sandpiper. A nice collection of interesting birds were found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region including Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (4-A.E Sea), Sandhill Cranes (1-2 heard near A.E.Sea), Great Egrets (60 plus in A.E. Sea), a Great Horned Owl, a Philadelphia Vireo, Marsh Wrens, a Swainson's Thrush, a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings, Magnolia Warblers, a Palm Warbler, American Redstarts, Common Yellowthroats, White-throated Sparrows and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Main Ring Woods produced a Warbling Vireo, Eastern Bluebirds, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warblers (2), a Bay-breasted Warbler and two new sparrow migrants, a Lincoln's Sparrow and a White-crowned Warbler. Denis' group stayed in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region finding many of the same birds as Peter and myself. In addition, they found Black-crowned Night-Herons (3) and some migrant hawks. Included were a couple of Bald Eagles (an adult and a juvenile, probably not migrants), a high flying Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawks (3) and the bird of the day, a Merlin which put on an aerial display first disrupting the Lake Law shorebirds then swooping down an a passerine. Dave

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Al Stokie was in the Lab this morning, specifically at Lake Law. He added a Semipalmated Plover for the week and had most of the same shorebirds we had on Sunday including Killdeer (28), a Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs (6), a Solitary Sandpiper, a Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpipers (3-4), a Baird's Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpipers (2), Pectoral Sandpipers (13) and a Wilson's Sandpiper. Peter was also birding with a visiting scientist and found many of the same shorebirds. In addition, he noted shorebirds are now starting to show up on the lowered A.E. Sea. They also found the best variety of warblers in the Sparrow Hedge area of the season including Tennessee Warblers, an Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warblers, a Magnolia Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats. In addition, they found the first confirmed migrating blackbird of the season, a Rusty Blackbird. Dave

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The morning started comfortably in the mid 60's and sunny, but the temps rose to the mid 80's by noon. The A.E. Slits were barren except for a couple of Green Herons and some Marsh Wrens. There was not a lot of variety on the Lake law flats. Found there were Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers and a couple of Wilson's Snipe. I heard, then watched a Belted Kingfisher fishing from a dead tree at the SW corner of A.E. Sea. Lighting was great. Four or five warblers flew by, but the only one that stopped was a Black-throated Green Warbler. Other birds of note in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (at least 3), an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings (mostly juveniles) and Indigo Buntings. It appears that the new hot spot for Great Egrets is DUSAF Pond with over 40 being found there. A large flock of House Sparrows was chased by a Cooper's Hawk in the Garden Club. Unfortunately, he missed his breakfast. Migrants found in the Big Woods or Main Ring Woods were a Yellow-throated Vireo, a Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warblers (5-6), a Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstarts (2) and probably the first sparrow migrants of the season, couple of White-throated Sparrows. Marcia and Gail were also in doing their weekly survey. Their highlights included Wood Ducks, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings (11), a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Common Grackle. The girls also came up with the bird of the day, a Northern Harrier (first sighting since May) searching a prairie in the Main Injector area. Dave

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The morning started comfortably cool with partly sunny skies but soon warmed into the 70's. The A.E. Sea Slots were barren except for a single Great Blue Heron. A.E. sea's receding waters have removed any standing water in that area. The Lake Law Flats did produce some interesting shorebirds including Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Least Sandpiper, a White-rumped Sandpiper (bird of the day and first of the year), a Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipers (2). Great Egrets were noticeable in that their numbers were the lowest in many weeks (only 4-5 today). Other interesting birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks (15-20), Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (3 Juv), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, American Crows (several here and other areas of the Lab), a Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, a Swamp Sparrow and a couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. We found 7 warbler species. The only one with multiple numbers were the Common Yellowthroats. Others found were a Palm Warbler (Sparrow Hedge), a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, an American Redstart and an Ovenbird - all in Main Ring Woods. Peter also reported a Common Nighthawk during the week. Dave

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Marcia's and Gail's first stop this morning was again at the Cattail Slots at the south end of A.E. Sea. There they found 9 Soras, Green Herons (3) and Pied-billed Grebes (3). An Osprey was again found in the Betz Prairie area in the same tree as last week. They found the first Palm Warblers (2) of the season, unfortunately, we have not had many other warblers to precede them. What will our next warbler be, a Yellow-rumped Warbler? Other birds of interest they spotted during their morning survey were a pair of Wood Ducks, a Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flickers (4), Eastern Phoebes (3), Sedge Wrens (3), a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It was a very nice early fall morning for birding. Temps started in the high 40's and was approaching the 60's by the time we were finished, with mostly sunny skies and a mild breeze. The area around the A.E. Sea "slots" produced Pied-billed Grebes (3-Juv), Soras (around 10), Green Herons and Marsh Wrens. Again Lake Law produced a modest population of shorebirds including Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers. Also, Peter spotted an American Pipit on the far west side of the lake. Some early waterfowl movement was evident with Wood Ducks, both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers on the Sea of evanescence. A nice variety of other birds were found in Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region including Pied-billed Grebes (3-Adults), Chimney Swifts, an American Coot, Great Egrets (42-Sea of Evanescence) Black-crowned Night-Herons (2-Juv south end A.E. Sea), a Cooper's Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, a Willow Flycatcher, an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The only other bird of mention outside these areas was a Brown Thrasher. No migrant warblers were found during the morning. Dave

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Altering their usual monitoring protocol this morning, Marcia and Gail started out at the Cattail Slots in A.E. Sea along Batavia Rd. They did get some views of a single Least Bittern in addition to several Soras (5) and Green Herons (3). After checking out several other locations, they returned to their usual monitoring of the Main and Injector Ring areas. Birds of interest found in these other areas were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Downy Woodpecker (needed for the week), an American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebes (3), a Horned Lark, Field Sparrows (2-not as noticeable in expected locations), a Savannah Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Indigo Bunting. Also, they reported not finding an Osprey during their travels around the Lab this morning. Dave

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The morning started cool (low 50's) and mostly sunny but warmed quickly into the 70's. I missed finding any Least Bitterns in the A.E. Sea slot cuts but, good numbers Soras and Green Herons were still in the area. Shorebirds around Lake Law were still in smaller numbers than last week. Shorebirds found there were a Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer (still quite a few), Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Pectoral Sandpipers. These birds were moving around quite a bit and many were out of the range of my scope most of the time. The majority of Great Egrets appear to have moved back to the Sea of Evanescence (numbers early in the morning - Lake Law- 3, Sea of E.-at least 27). Also at the Sea of E., I watched a Great Blue Heron carry around a good sized Bullhead (about 10") for about 5 min. The fish was repositioned regularly while the heron appeared to look for a solid surface to dispatch it. Suddenly, the fish wiggled free and fell into a weedy area where the heron could not locate it but still spent several minutes picking at the weeds ,in an unsuccessful in search. Other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, a Cooper's Hawk, Bell's Vireos (2), Cedar Waxwings, a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler and a Bay-breasted Warbler. Birds found in other areas of the Lab were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Swainson's Thrush, an American Redstart, a Mourning Warbler (bird of the day), a Field Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird chased a House Wren into a thick, dead shrub where it continued to harass it until the wren found a secure location. The hummingbird perched nearby and when the wren flushed the hummingbird was again hot on its tail. Dave

Friday, September 1, 2017

The 50 degree temperatures this morning were accentuated by the breezy conditions. The test slots along Batavia Rd at A.E. Sea produced most of the same birds found there in the recent past including Pied-billed Grebes (2-Juv), Soras (at least 10), Least Bitterns (2) and Green Herons. By the way, these test slots are an experiment to try and reduce the cattail density around A.E. Sea. The shorebirds at drawn-down Lake Law were a little disappointing this morning both in quality and quantity. Killdeer were most numerous with 50-75 spread around the lake. Others found were several Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Sandpiper and a Least Sandpiper. Another small flock was spotted but left the area before the birds could be identified. There was a good number of swallows over the Sea of Evanescence including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Barn Swallows and several Chimney Swifts. Other birds of interest in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Wood Ducks, Double-crested Cormorants (about 100 in the SW corner of A.E. Sea), a Bell's Vireo, a Sedge Wren, Marsh Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings. An interesting incident occurred in the Osprey Nest 1 area. An adult Osprey was on the power pole next to the nest pole when a Red-tailed Hawk landed one pole down from the Osprey. The Osprey took off and buzzed the Red-Tail until it flushed. The Osprey then chased it out of the area. Later the Osprey, now perched on the Nest 1 pole, got quite irritated when a Turkey Vulture glided over the nest pole. The positive from these incidents is that there still appears to be loyalty to the area by this Osprey. Some of the other highlight birds found elsewhere in the Lab were Turkey Vultures, Hairy Woodpeckers, American Kestrels (5), a Least Flycatcher, a Great Crested Flycatcher and Indigo Buntings. Finally, the bird of the morning was an early Merlin perched out in the open, flushing then flying south. Dave

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Marcia and Gail were in doing their usual midweek bird survey in the Main and Injector Rings. Again they came up with another new migrant warbler for the fall season - a Tennessee Warbler (actually 3). They also spotted 4 of this year's Ospreys in their survey areas. It's good to know there are still some of these birds around the Lab. Other highlights of their morning's birding were a Pied-billed Grebe, Green Herons (still well dispersed around the Lab), an Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Sedge Wrens (2), an Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwings, and a Chipping Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Another pleasant morning greeted us with cool temps, mostly cloudy skies, and mild winds. Lake Law was down another notch - now approx. 4 ft below normal. There was not quite the quantity of shorebirds at L.Law as there was on Thur. , but still some great surprises were provided. Expected shorebirds found were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers. Notable misses here were Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers. The first of the season surprises were a Baird's Sandpiper, a Stilt Sandpiper and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Soon after finding these birds, an adult Bald Eagle flew over the southwest corner of L.Law. Other birds of note in the Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes (2-Juveniles), Least Bitterns (2-adults and 3-juv), Green Herons (still a nice mix of adults and juv.), Soras, a Chimney Swift, and Marsh Wrens (several still singing). Elsewhere we added an Osprey (adult feeding on Nest 1 site), an American Kestrel and Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It was comfortably cool this morning with partly cloudy skies and moderate winds. No new additional birds from last week's tally were seen and, in many areas, the passerines were quite quiet. The shorebirds on the drawn-down Lake Law (now about 3 ft below the levels of a couple of weeks ago) were the same but in slightly larger numbers from Sunday. Birds found there were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Least Sandpiper (only species with a lesser number) and Pectoral Sandpipers. Other birds of interest in the Sparrow hedge/Lakes region were a Pied-billed Grebe, Soras (at least 7), Least Bitterns (2), Green Herons (still in good numbers), Great Egrets (22 on L.Law), Sandhill Cranes (pr. at L.Law), Bell's Vireos (at least 6 singing), a Warbling Vireo and Cedar Waxwings. Birds of interest found elsewhere were American Kestrels, a Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows (still quite a few singing along N. Eola Rd), Bobolinks (group 10-12 birds) and several Eastern Meadowlarks. A feeding, immature Osprey was back in the Nest 1 area on one of the nearby power poles. At the Nest 3 area, an immature Osprey was begging, and it worked. As I was leaving the area, an adult was seen carrying a fish toward its panhandling offspring. Dave

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Marcia and Gail were in today surveying their usual areas in the Main and Injector Rings. Their bird of the day was the first migrant warbler of the season, an early Chestnut-sided Warbler. Other birds of interest in their visited areas were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Cooper's Hawk, both Eastern Wood-Pewees and Eastern Phoebes, Sedge Wrens, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Cedar Waxwings, European Starlings (a large flock of about 300 birds), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, an Indigo Bunting, an Eastern Towhee and a Common Grackle. Their biggest miss of the day was finding no Ospreys in the Nest 1 area. This is the first time this area has been without an Osprey since early April. Dave

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Being mostly cloudy and in the low to mid 70's, the early morning was quite pleasant for birding. The slots at the north end of A.E. Sea again produced a Least Bittern. Also there were 8 to 10 Soras and several Green Herons. Lake Law was lowered about 2 ft this past week and produced the first migrant shorebirds of the season. Found were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers and a Pectoral Sandpiper. There were at least 16 Great Egrets around the lake's perimeter (previously only 1 or 2 would be found). Three young Cooper's Hawks buzzed the shorebirds momentarily then flew to the top of a tall tree. There the hawks were buzzed themselves by a couple of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Also of interest in the Sparrow Hedge area were Caspian Terns (3), Bell's Vireos (several singing), and a Baltimore Oriole. The only Osprey found were 3 in the area of Nest 1. Dave

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The morning started out quite pleasant being in the hi 60's, mostly sunny and calm, but soon warmed to the mid 80's. Again a Least Bittern was the bird of the morning (a flyover, in great light, at the north end of A. E. Sea). Other birds of interest found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Wood Ducks, Soras (4), Green Herons (4), Great Egret (numbers climbed to 51 at Sea of Evanescence), a Caspian Tern, a Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, a Hairy Woodpecker (Big Woods), Eastern Kingbirds, Marsh Wrens (still diminishing in numbers-at least those singing), a Cedar Waxwing and Eastern Towhees. Birds of interest found in other areas of the Lab were Ospreys (3-in area of Nest 1, none around Nest 3), American Kestrels (4), Eastern Wood-Pewees, an Eastern Phoebe, Sedge Wrens, a Brown Thrasher, a Vesper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrows, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Eastern Meadowlarks and Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Temps this morning were still comfortable (hi 60's - low 70's), skies were partly cloudy and winds were calm. The Sparrow Hedge did produce some interesting birds starting at the "Cattail Slots" on the north end of A.E. Sea. Found there were 2 Least Bitterns (one flyover and one sunning itself), several Soras, Wood Ducks, a Green Heron and a Spotted Sandpiper (new week). Found in the remainder of the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were 43 Great Egrets (Sea of E.), a singing Bell's Vireo (also found on Wed. and by Glenn on Thur.), Eastern Kingbirds (5 in one tree), an American Crow and Northern Rough-winged Swallows (new week). Elsewhere in the Lab the only other new bird for the week was a Warbling Vireo. An adult and a juvenile Osprey were perched on the cross beams of the now missing Nest 1. After they flew off we investigated the base of the nest pole and found the nest material spread around the base of the nest up to a 20 foot radius rather than in a centralized pile. This, strangely, seems to imply that the nest was dismantled by the Osprey and not blown off the pole by a strong wind gust. It will be interesting to see the next move made by this extremely viable pair of birds (the Nest 1 pair have produced 22 offspring to date). Dave

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Glenn was in today and spent quite a bit of time birding around the Lab. From his extensive list of birds he added a large number of birds to the week's list. In addition he added two "first of the year" birds including a Ring-necked Pheasant and a Black-crowned Night-Heron. The other birds added for the week were an American Black Duck, a Cooper's Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Willow Flycatcher, a Horned Lark, Purple Martins, a Brown Thrasher, a Yellow Warbler, a Chipping Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow and Bobolinks. This helped us have the largest number of species for a week since the second week of June. Dave

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The weather was quite pleasant with temps ranging from the mid 60's early to the mid 70's later. Mosquitoes were again a problem and several locations would have been unbearable without a head net. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning and all together we had just about 60 species. Starting with the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region the highlights of birds found were a Wood Duck family, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, several Soras, a pair of Sandhill Cranes (just behind the birding area sign), Caspian Terns, Great Egrets (27 at the Sea of Evanescence-highest number this season), a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Phoebe, a Bell's Vireo, Marsh Wrens (a notability reduced presence), Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a couple of juvenile Orchard Orioles. Highlights found elsewhere in the Lab were a Turkey Vulture (on the upper corner of Wilson Hall), a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers, American Kestrels, Eastern Wood-Pewees, a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Red-eyed Vireo, an American Crow, Sedge Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, Henslow's Sparrows, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings and Eastern Meadowlarks. Osprey Nest 1 is now almost completely down, for still unknown reasons. One of the juvenile Ospreys was feeding on a cross member of the nest pole with another nearby. Nest 3 had one of the juveniles perched near that nest. Dave

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mostly cloudy skies, calm winds and favorable temps were overcome by the tenacity of the mosquitoes in most areas of the Lab. Highlights in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region were Wood Ducks, Soras, Sandhill Cranes (heard east of A.E. Sea), Caspian Terns (at least 2), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Willow Flycatcher (again using the whit call) and a Brown Thrasher. Along North Eola Rd. the Henslow's Sparrows, in contrast to Thursday's visit, were singing everywhere. Also singing , but to a much lesser degree, were Sedge Wrens and Eastern Meadowlarks. A Horned Lark and Savannah Sparrows were also found in this area. Other highlights around the Lab were American Kestrels (2), a Northern Flicker, several Eastern Phoebes, a juv. Chipping Sparrow and Indigo Buntings. An interesting Osprey observation was made at Nest 1. One of the juvenile Osprey was atop the nest, but something did not look right to us. Then we realized that the size of the nest was greatly diminished. We did not want to approach the nest at this point in time with the youngster still around the nest, but will try to determine what happened to the nest material at a later date. Dave

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The morning started out warm, humid, calm, partly cloudy and buggy. Through the morning it turned sunny, then cloudy and finally rainy. Half the morning was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow hedge region trying to locate one of the Least Bitterns that have eluded me. A number of interesting birds were found including a Wood Duck family, American Black Ducks, Pied-billed Grebe (L. Law), Soras (2-Adults, 1-Juv), a Spotted Sandpiper, Caspian Terns, my best bird of the day - a Least Bittern (finally!), Green Herons (several Adults and a Juv), a Willow Flycatcher (calling-Whit), a Bell's Vireo (first in over a month-just a few song notes), Marsh Wrens (a little less prominent than on recent visits), Eastern Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings. In other areas around the Lab... First, the grassland birds presence has been diminishing including Sedge Wrens (far less along S. Eola), Henslow's Sparrows (only 2 reluctantly singing along S. Eola) and Eastern Meadowlarks (few heard, several locations). Some other highlights included American Kestrels, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Eastern Phoebes, Horned Larks, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, American Redstarts, and Indigo Buntings. Osprey Nest 3 had only 1 juvenile feeding at the nest. While at Nest 1 a juvenile was on the nest, 2 were feeding nearby and 1 was calling from inside the Main Ring. Later, when the rain started the juvenile on the nest started jumping up and down as if it were testing its wings. It then flew a circle around the nest and landed back on the nest. Whether or not this was its first flight, it certainly confirms the fledging of all 7 young Ospreys for 2017. This brings the total of fledged Osprey at Fermilab to 30 (22 of these from Nest 1) over the last 9 years. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning, finding many of the same birds in the Main Ring and Injector Ring Areas. For the week list they added woodpeckers I missed including a Downy Woodpecker and several Northern Flickers (5). Others they added for the week were 2 juvenile Warbling Vireos and 2 Dickcissels inside the Main Ring. Dave

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The conditions were quite pleasant this morning being partly sunny with moderate temps. More importantly the numbers of mosquitoes and deer flies were way down. The Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region still produces some birds of interest. The ever present, this season, Marsh Wrens were singing throughout the area as were a couple of Willow Flycatchers. Also found were a family of 3 juvenile Pied-billed Grebes with one adult. There was also a group of several juvenile Song Sparrows foraging together on the shore of A.E. Sea. Other birds of interest in the area were Wood Ducks, several American Black Ducks, a Sora, Caspian Terns (4), a Least Bittern, Green Herons (several buzzing the area) and a Baltimore Oriole. Birds found elsewhere around the Lab were Killdeer (including some juveniles), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Black-billed Cuckoo (heard), a Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrels (at least 3), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, an American Crow, a couple of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Vesper Sparrows, Indigo Buntings and an Eastern Meadowlark. Osprey Nest 1 appears to be fully fledged even though there was a juvenile on the nest during our visit. An interesting observation was that there were 7 Ospreys (including 2 adults) in the immediate area of Nest 1, which meant at least one of those juveniles must have been from Nest 3. Dave

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It was cloudy and fairly comfortable most of the morning, but warmer and humid later. The bird of the day was a nearly adult Bald Eagle being escorted westward by several Red-winged Blackbirds along the southern edge of The Sea of Evanescence. The only other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks, Green Herons ( 4 here and 2 elsewhere), a Caspian Tern, Willow Flycatchers (several still singing), Indigo Buntings and the still abundant Marsh Wrens. Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows were still quite actively singing along South Eola Road. In addition, there was also a large collection of post breeding Bobolinks active in that area. Some of the other birds found around the Lab were a Turkey Vultures, Eastern Wood Pewees (a family with begging young), an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebirds, an American Redstart, Vesper Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks. I was lucky to finally get to see all 11 Ospreys from Nest 1 %26 3 today. First at Osprey Nest 3, all 3 of the juveniles were together on a power pole about fifty yards from the nest. Immediately going to Nest 1, I found five Osprey circling high over the nest area while there were still 3 juveniles on the nest. Dave

Sunday, July 23, 2017

We had a short birding session this morning. Mosquitoes, deer flies and humidity were key factors, but when the sun showed itself, the increase in temps signaled donut time. Most of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region where we found Wood Ducks (less than previous visits), Pied-billed Grebes (2), a Black-billed Cuckoo (heard west of A.E. Sea), a pair of Sandhill Cranes, several Green Herons and Great Egrets, Willow Flycatchers (several singing) and Eastern Kingbirds. Found elsewhere were a Red-bellied Woodpecker (not spending much time in the woods recently woodpeckers have been hard to come by), more Sandhill Cranes (3) and American Kestrels (2-3). Osprey update: Nest 1 had 2 juveniles in the nest and the other 2 nearby with one of the adults. At Nest 3, only 2 of the juveniles were on nearby power poles. Dave

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This morning I did the Grassland Bird Post Breeding Survey for this season. Both Sedge Wrens (12) and Henslow's Sparrows (20) were the most active species in the survey areas. Both Bobolinks and Dickcissels, on the other hand, were a disappointment with only 3 of each found over all 12 survey points. Eastern Meadowlarks were also on the low side with only 6 found. None of the areas produced any Grasshopper Sparrows . Some of the other birds of interest found during the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe, Green Herons, American Kestrels (2), Sandhill Cranes (3), a Caspian Tern, American Crows, two large groups of Tree Swallows (totaling 49 - mostly juveniles), Cedar Waxwings, a Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Orchard Oriole. As far as the Ospreys go, Nest 3 showed the most activity this morning. In the end all juveniles fledged and left home. Very early (5:15) two chicks were still on the nest while the other chick and one adult were on nearby power poles. By mid morning (9:30) all three chicks and one adult were on surrounding poles and trees. Finally, by late morning (11:50) all five Nest 3 Ospreys had left the area and were nowhere to be found (I'm sure they will still use the nest site as a central meeting point for awhile). Gail was in this morning also observing much of this activity. In addition, she spotted some of these birds at other points around the Injector and Main Rings. The activity around Nest 1 was less exciting, but all 6 birds were found around the nest area. Early in the morning the nest was crowded with 3 chicks and an adult while a fledged youngster and the other adult were on nearby poles. Throughout the morning there were always several birds on Nest 1. Dave

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