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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 ...Dec 14Dec 10Dec 7Dec 3Dec 1Nov 30Nov 29Nov 26
Nov 25Nov 24Nov 21Nov 19Nov 17Nov 12Nov 10Nov 7
Nov 6Nov 5Nov 2Oct 29Oct 27Oct 25Oct 22Oct 18
Oct 16Oct 15Oct 11Oct 9Oct 8Oct 5Oct 1Sep 26

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A late afternoon/evening trip to the Lab today was to be sure the Ed Center Feeders were filled for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count and try for Screech-Owls. Well, the feeders are filled, but no Screech- Owls were found. However, everal good birds were found including Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, American Coots, a Bald Eagle (Immature fling over Main Ring Lake), a Northern Harrier and a Short-eared Owl (near the end of North Eola Road. Dave

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The temperature today started at about 20 deg. and slowly increased from there but only by a few degrees. The increase in the wind pretty much negated this effect. Absolutely nothing was found in the area of Lake Law (it was totally frozen over). But at the limited open water around the Lab we did fairly well with waterfowl including Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Mallards, a Canvasback, a Redhead, Ring-necked Ducks (15) and Common Goldeneyes (over 12). Other highlights for the morning were a pair of Northern Harriers (flying in the Main Ring, then landing in a large tree), an American Kestrel, several Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Fox Sparrow (only bird of interest at the Ed. Center Feeders) and a Pine Siskin (deemed our bird of the day). Dave

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It was quite cold (about 20 deg) to start, with snow flurries and moderate winds which increased throughout the morning. Lake Law was almost totally frozen over. Several hundred Canada Geese were on the west shore (mostly on the ice) along with several Sandhill Cranes. While filling the Ed Center Feeders, I saw an immature Bald Eagle through the trees. Interestingly, Marcia and Gail also saw this bird as it flew toward the Main Ring. The only bird of interest at the feeders was a lone White-throated Sparrow. Sparrows found elsewhere were American Tree Sparrows (everywhere), Fox Sparrows (2-3 M.Ring), Song Sparrows (around 6) and Dark-eyed Juncos (everywhere). Other highlights were Common Goldeneyes, a Northern Harrier (in Main Ring), and Red-breasted Nuthatches. In addition to the Eagle, Marcia and Gail added another Common Goldeneye, Northern Shovelers (3) and an American Kestrel along South Eola Road. Dave

Sunday, December 3, 2017

It was a fantastic weather day in the Lab, though it started a little chilly (low 30's). Almost negligent winds and bright sunny skies rounded out the conditions. When we first pulled into the Red Barn Parking Lot we were greeted by an adult Bald Eagle, this time perched in the lone tall tree at the south end of the lot. It remained on the same perch as we passed it and set up our scopes on the Lake Law Berm. Lake Law did not provide much of interest other than a Hooded Merganser and some Sandhill Cranes (11-probably the same ones from Fri.). Another adult Bald Eagle was spotted, from the berm, perched in a large tree on the eastern edge of Owl's Nest Woods. A female Purple Finch was among a small number of the expected birds at the Ed Center Feeders. Another good find was a flock of Lapland Longspurs (25-30) in soy fields, at the north end of the Lab. Other highlights from around the Lab were several Northern Shovelers, a Common Goldeneye, a Great Blue Heron (perched in a tree in a soy field), an American Kestrel, Golden-crowned Kinglets (3) and Red-winged Blackbirds (4-females in some cattails along Swenson Rd.) On his way home Peter stopped at DUSAF Pond an added a Mute Swan and some Green-winged Teal. Dave

Friday, December 1, 2017

The weather was sunny with mild winds and temps in the high 20's. Temps soon moved into the 40's and finally into the mid 50's. Lake Law has regained most of the water that was drawn down early in the fall. Although most of the water was back, the birds were not. The only finds there were the expected Canada Geese, a small number of Mallards and Sandhill Cranes (11-again on the west shore). The highlight of this area was an adult Bald Eagle perched in the tallest tree on the west side of the lake. It remained there until my return from a circuit of the Sparrow Hedge area (over a hour later). Once the sun warmed the area, the sparrows and Northern Cardinals became quite active. The Sparrows found were American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (8-10), Swamp Sparrows (about a dozen) and White-throated Sparrows(3). Dark-eyed Juncos were found elsewhere. Waterfowl found elsewhere were American Black Ducks (pr), Northern Shovelers (6-8), Green-winged Teal (10), Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers (2-pr). Other birds of interest around the Lab were American Coots (over 18), a Great Horned Owl, an American Kestrel (seen feeding on a small rodent), Horned Larks, Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and several very active Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Marcia and Gail were in this morning. While they enjoyed the pleasant weather, the birds were not as accommodating. Another medium sized flock of American Crows (9) was found in the central area of the Lab. They also found a Horned Lark and both American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos in this area. Their best bird was a Belted Kingfisher found hunting along the Main Ring Moat. It's good to still have a kingfisher in the lab after experiencing some occasional ice cover. The question is will it stick around for the CBC in two weeks? Dave

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Although The main quarry of my late afternoon early evening trip to the Lab, a Screech-Owl, was not found there some interesting encounters. The feeders (Ed Center) had no notable species and the overall number of birds there was quite low. The lakes were just starting to receive their overnight visiting Canada Geese. No divers (goldeneyes and mergansers) were found with this influx. Three Great Horned Owls were found. The first was perched in a tree near the intersection of Batavia and Eola Roads. The second was inside the Main Ring, heard calling while I was playing a Screech-Owl tape. The third was a juvenile begging for food, most likely a sign of hard Love (it is that time of year). The bird of the trip was a Short-eared Owl, the first of the year in the Lab. It was flying over the berm into the Main Ring. Dave

Sunday, November 26, 2017

This morning's weather was much like that of Friday, being cool to start and sunny with a mild breeze. Lake Law was totally open today but did not yield much more than on Friday. Found there were Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, American Black Ducks, a Northern Shoveler, several Green-winged Teal, Sandhill Cranes (10) and a Great Blue Heron. Four American Crows were observed mobbing a perched Red-tailed Hawk near the Main Ring Berm. This action was made possible due to the recent increase in the crow population around the Lab. Unfortunately, the bird deemed the bird of the day was a Brown-headed Cowbird (due to the lateness of the sighting). Other birds of interest for the morning were Hooded Mergansers (about 10 in Main Ring Lake, mostly males), Bald Eagles (2- 1-adult and 1-an almost adult), a Cooper's Hawk, a Sharp- shinned Hawk (a flyby Peter observed near the Ed Center Feeders upon entering the Lab), a Hairy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatches, an Eastern Bluebird (heard) and finally a White-throated Sparrow and a White-crowned Sparrow (both at the Ed Ctr. Feeders). Dave

Saturday, November 25, 2017

During a short trip to the Lab today Peter found a Canvasback (DUSAF) and an American Kestrel. Dave

Friday, November 24, 2017

The temps started in the high 30's, then climbed into the mid 40's by afternoon. The sunny skies produced warmth, but the winds suppressed some of this affect. Over 90 percent of Lake Law was ice covered early and all birds were found along the south and west shores. That said, not much was found except for the expected Canada Geese, Cackling geese, Mallards, several Green- winged Teal and 5 Sandhill Cranes. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were a flyover Great Blue Heron, American Crows, Cedar Waxwings (about 20), American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (2-3), Song Sparrows and a Red-winged Blackbird. The Ed Center Feeders produced the typical winter feeder birds in addition to a Hairy Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrows (2) and a House Finch with a white cheek and a partially white crown. Found inside the Main Ring were a Ring-necked Duck, a Northern Pintail, Common Mergansers (3-Fem; firsts of the season), American Coots and several Pine Siskins (3-4). Other highlight birds found around the Lab were Northern Shovelers, Great Horned Owls (pr), Horned Larks, Eastern Bluebirds (about a half doz.) and Dark-eyed Juncos. Dave

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dave Shemanske reported finding several Sandhill Cranes forging in the fields along South Eola Road. This is the approximate area we thought we heard the cranes calling from on Sunday. Dave

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The morning was mostly cloudy, quite breezy and in the low 30's. The highlights at Lake Law were Snow Geese (3-white), several Cackling Geese and Tundra Swans (11 that took flight before everyone was settled on the berm). Also found were several Green- wing Teal, a Great Blue Heron and Sandhill Cranes (heard calling somewhere south of the Sparrow Hedge). Not much activity and nothing interesting found at the Ed Center Feeders. Only typical winter birds were found including Red-breasted Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches, House Finches and Dark-eyed Juncos. We watched an Immature Cooper's Hawk as it observed a Red-tailed Hawk ripping apart a large bird (most likely a goose) in a grassy area. The Cooper's was most likely hoping for some leftovers for its breakfast. Also found were Northern Harriers (2-hunting inside the Main Ring), an Immature Bald Eagle (perched atop a dead tree also in the Main Ring) and a large group of American Crows (15-16 in the Lab's interior). The bird of the morning was a very late Vesper Sparrow (the Lab's latest sighting by 2 weeks in almost 20 years). Dave

Friday, November 17, 2017

Partly sunny skies soon became overcast with moderate temps (mid 30's to low 40's) and moderately strong winds. Not as many Canada Geese were on Lake Law to start as other recent visits (around 1500). Also at the lake were Cackling Geese, Mallards, Green-winged Teal and Sandhill Cranes (5). Water birds found in A.E. Sea and the Sea of Evanescence were American Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers, a Hooded Merganser (1-Fem), and Great Blue Herons (6- Sea of E). Other birds in the area were a Belted Kingfisher, American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (10-15) and Dark-eyed Juncos. It was quite a good morning for raptors starting with 3 Bald Eagles (1-adult and 2-Immatures) that were seen throughout my stay, mostly over Lake Law. Also found were 2 Northern Harriers hunting in the Sparrow Hedge area. Found elsewhere were a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks and an American Kestrel. Highlights found around the Lab were a Snow Goose (a blue in Main Ring Lake), Horned Larks, American Coots, Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, a White-throated Sparrow and Purple Finches (2-males at Ed Center Feeders). Dave

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Overcast skies, calm winds and cool temps greeted us early. Luckily the rain held off until our departure. Among the Canada Geese and Cackling Geese on Lake Law were 4 Snow Geese (3-white, 1-blue). Other birds at the lake were Northern Shovelers (1 or 2 here, others elsewhere), Green-winged Teal (still well represented), Hooded Mergansers, a Bald Eagle (sub-adult, working the west shoreline)), American Coots, Sandhill Cranes and a Killdeer (a flyover). All other birds were found in various locations around the lab. Other than several Fox Sparrows, only the winter sparrows were found, both American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds found for the morning were Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, American Crows (comments were made about how much more common they have become recently), Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warblers (2-3) and a flyover Red-winged Blackbird (which was missed on Friday). Dave

Friday, November 10, 2017

The morning started out in the teens and barely reached the freezing mark by early afternoon. In addition, it was partly cloudy and calm changing to cloudy and windy with occasional flurries. Lake Law was again loaded with Canada Geese and quite a few Mallards; plus American Black Ducks (pr), several Green-winged Teal and about a dozen Bufflehead (1-male and the rest females). The number of Sandhill Cranes at the lake had increased to 48. Other birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were a couple of Great Blue Herons, American Coots (2-Sea of E), a Wilson's Snipe (A.E. Sea), Fox Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Sparrows found elsewhere (all sparrows were in small numbers) were American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found throughout the Lab were Wood Ducks (about a dozen), a Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Mergansers (about a dozen), Double-crested Cormorants, a Killdeer (flyover), a Horned Lark, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler (in the Village). The big miss of the morning was not finding a single blackbird. The best bird of the morning was a perched Rough-legged Hawk (inside the Main Ring) being harassed by a Northern Harrier. Dave

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Glenn was back bright and early this morning for another short trip. He reported the Canada Geese ( over 6500) were back at Lake Law and other areas this morning. Yesterday afternoon they may have been on the south side of the Lab or in the Ring Lakes. Also at Lake Law were the Tundra Swans (pr), Cackling Geese (4) and a couple of Greater White-fronted Geese. Apparently the same 25 Sandhill Cranes were also still at Lake Law. Other birds found around the Lab were Wood Ducks (3), American Black Ducks (5), Red-breasted Nuthatches (2), a Marsh Wren (calling in the A.E. Sea area) and Pine Siskins (first of the year). Dave

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dave Shemanske today reported again seeing a Bald Eagle carrying sticks to Osprey Nest 2. Glenn was in later in the day for a short trip. Interestingly he only found about 130 Canada Geese along his route (and he was at the premium Ag Fields), quite a difference from the past several weeks. At Lake Law he found a pair of Tundra Swans, an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron and a whooping 25 Sandhill Cranes (those numbers are typically only found in the fields). Other birds he found, mostly in the north of the Lab, were an American Kestrel, a Swamp Sparrow (not typically where we look for sparrows) and an extremely low count of Red-winged Blackbirds (41). I only mention the blackbirds because of their low count. Strangely this season's numbers of blackbirds in general have been quite low, maybe this cold snap will bring more down (hopefully, with some variety). Dave

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The morning was quite dreary but mild with minimal winds. As a bonus, the rain did not start until late morning. Lake Law again had loads of Canada Geese early. The variety of other waterfowl was poor. Those found were Cackling Geese, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Ducks. Sparrow activity was way down from Thursday's visit. Those found, all in small numbers, were American Tree Sparrows (most numerous and largest number this season), Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. About half way back to the Hedge, Peter thought he spotted a fly off Merlin. We spent most of the remainder of our tine in the area trying to relocate the bird. After a loop of the area and back at the Lake Law berm, Peter found it half way up in a small tree. After a short time this bird moved off and a second one moved up from below to fill the vacancy. The only other highlights in this area were a Northern Harrier (a flyover), a single Great Egret, and a Belted Kingfisher. Other good birds found elsewhere in the Lab were Wilson's Snipes (4), a Northern Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatches (first of the year), Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings and Common Grackles. Dave

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Temps were about average, winds were calm and the cloudy skies occasionally produced a light mist this morning. Sparrows in the Sparrow Hedge area were quite active, consisting mainly of Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Others found in the area, in decreasing numbers, were White-throated Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and a Field Sparrow. Waterfowl diversity in the Lakes Region was down. Those found were Canada Geese (easily a couple of thousand), Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, a Lesser Scaup and Hooded Mergansers (pr). Other birds of interest found in the area were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Golden-crowned Kinglet and a Yellow-rumped Warbler (in the cattails of all places). Later a flock of these warblers about a dozen were found. Highlights found in other areas of the Lab were a Pied-billed Grebe, Snow Geese (2), an American Black Duck, Ruddy Ducks, a pair of Cooper's Hawks (most likely the Garden Club residents), American Coots, Merlin (my 4th of the year in the Lab), Eastern Bluebirds, an Eastern Towhee, White-crowned Sparrows (probably the most numerous sparrow species of the morning) and Dark-eyed Juncos. What may have been the same Sandhill Crane family which bred in the Lab were again seen near their original nesting area. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning and had a nice mix of birds to report. Ironically, they also saw the Merlin in possibly the same tree inside the Main Ring, but they saw it about 3 1/2 hours before me. They estimated about 3000 Canada Geese were in the Ag fields on the north side of the Lab. Other waterfowl of interest were Gadwall, Northern Shovelers,and Cackling Geese. They did well with Sparrows finding an American Tree Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows (2), Fox Sparrows (6), Song Sparrows (6), White-throated Sparrows (6), White-crowned Sparrows(2) and Dark-eyed Juncos (33). Their favorite bird of the morning was a beautiful adult male Purple Finch (3 finches were found). Other birds of interest were a Cooper's Hawk, Sandhill Cranes (3), American Coots, Belted Kingfishers (pr), an Eastern Towhee and Common Grackles. Dave

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Conditions were quite good this morning being cool with mild winds and partly cloudy skies, later turning sunny. Lake Law held a good number of waterfowl including Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Mallards (most to date this season), Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal (quite a few), Lesser Scaup (15 plus)and a Ruddy Duck. Found in the Sea of Evanescence were Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. Sparrows were quite active along the Sparrow Hedge paths. Those found were American Tree Sparrows (increasing in numbers), a Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrows (most to date), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (most abundant again today), White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Sparrows found elsewhere were Field Sparrows (2) and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of interest in the area were Pied-billed Grebes, Sandhill Cranes, American Coots (3), a Belted Kingfisher, a Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Blues, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, an Eastern Towhee and a Common Grackle. Dave

Friday, October 27, 2017

The morning started out cold, windy and cloudy; it did not improve from there. The wind was a major factor, especially areas exposed to the north or west. The occasional snowflakes had no effect, except to remind of what was to come. Early thousands of Canada Geese were on Lake Law and A.E. Sea, but soon migrated to the Ag Fields on the north side of the Lab. Other waterfowl found were Cackling Geese, a Snow Goose (Ag Fields, probably the same bird Glenn had on Wed.), Mallards, Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks (Lake Logo) and Hooded Mergansers. Sparrows found, mostly in small numbers, in the Sparrow Hedge area were American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Those found elsewhere were a Lincoln's Sparrow, Fox Sparrows (2) and Dark-eyed Juncos. About 8:15, several hundred Canada Geese flushed from the Ag Fields and returned to the Lakes. Soon after an Adult Bald Eagle showed up from the same direction and circled A.E. Sea, most likely the cause of the concern for the spooked geese. Other highlights in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes (2), Sandhill Cranes (3-possibly the family that bred in the Lab this past season), a Wilson's Snipe, a Belted Kingfisher, a Merlin (bird of the day, an especially good year for this species), American Crows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Palm Warbler. Interesting birds found elsewhere in the Lab were a Cooper's Hawk (migrating thru), Killdeer (lots in Ag Fields), an American Kestrel, Horned Larks (lots in Ag Fields), a Nashville Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Today Glenn made a short stop in the North Roads area of the Lab and among the over 2000 Canada Geese he located 18 Horned Larks and a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks. On Monday, another trip to the Lab produced a Snow Goose in the North Eola Road Ag fields. In addition, Lake Law provided a couple of Mute Swans that eventually flew off to the west. Other highlights of his trip were Wood Ducks (3), a Northern Harrier, an American Crow and Horned Larks (3). Dave

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The morning started quite pleasant with temps in the mid 60's, mild winds and mostly cloudy skies; however, intermittent showers started midmorning then progressed to consistent rain later. In the Lakes region, waterfowl were not much better than Wednesday, but Canada Geese numbers were up another notch. Others found were Cackling Geese, Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks (at different location), Mallards, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Sparrows showed some improvement with a couple of Le Conte's Sparrows (one of the birds of the day), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Added elsewhere were a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows and a couple of Fox Sparrows. The other bird of the day was an American Bittern that flushed less than 3 feet from me in some tall grass adjacent to Lake Law. Other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Pied-billed Grebes (3-4), Sandhill Cranes (5), a Greater Yellowlegs, a Belted Kingfisher (SW corner of A.E. Sea), a Golden-crowned Kinglet and a Palm Warbler. Some of the birds found elsewhere in the Lab were several Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebes, American Crows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Towhees and an Indigo Bunting. On his way home Peter visited the center of the Main Ring and found an American Coot, a Northern Harrier and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The morning started cool, sunny, with a mild wind. It again warmed through the morning, while the winds increased only slightly. Lake Law is now almost back to its pre drawdown level. As a consequence there were no shorebirds found in the Lakes area. There was an influx of the largest group of Canada Geese of the season accompanied by several Cackling Geese. Ducks were at their lowest numbers over the last several weeks; found were Mallards, Northern Shovelers (less than 20), Hooded Mergansers (pr) and Ruddy Ducks (8). Birding other areas of the Lab did not improve this list. One shrub contained Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and a Lincoln's Sparrow. Also found in the area were a Field Sparrow and a couple of White-crowned Sparrows. The bird of the morning was a Merlin in a dead tree at the south end of A.E. Sea. Other birds of interest in the area were Belted Kingfisher, an Eastern Phoebe (others found elsewhere), Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Bluebirds (migrating over the area) and Cedar Waxwings. Birds found in other areas were a Cooper's Hawk (probably a resident in the Garden Club), Killdeer, Long-billed Dowitchers (2-in a fuddle along South Eola Rd.), a House Wren, Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Eastern Towhee. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning spending most of their time in the Main and Injector Ring Areas. They also had Yellow-rumped Warblers in addition to a late Nashville Warbler. Most of their sparrows were White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows, but they also found the first American Tree Sparrows of the season. Dave

Monday, October 16, 2017

Glenn made a short stop in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region this evening. Highlights of this trip were Wood Ducks an American Wigeon, Mallards and Ruddy Ducks (11 at Lake Law), Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

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 an American 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. Other sparrows he found during the short break in the rain were a Clay-colored Sparrow, a Field Sparrow, a Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrows (3), Lincoln's Sparrows (3), Swamp Sparrows (9), White-throated Sparrows (10), White-crowned Sparrows and, unfortunately, the first 2 Dark-eyed Juncos of the year. 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

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