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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
Summaries from past years .. '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
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 ...Aug 20Aug 17Aug 13Aug 7Aug 3Jul 31Jul 27Jul 17
Jul 13Jul 10Jul 6Jul 3Jun 29Jun 25Jun 22Jun 20
Jun 18Jun 10Jun 8Jun 5Jun 1May 29May 25May 23
May 21May 20May 18May 16May 10May 9May 7May 4
May 1Apr 28Apr 27Apr 25Apr 23Apr 19Apr 16Apr 14
Apr 13Apr 11Apr 9Apr 6Apr 2Mar 30Mar 26Mar 23
Mar 20Mar 18Mar 16Mar 13Mar 12Mar 9Mar 6Mar 2
Feb 27Feb 2Jan 31Jan 26Jan 22Jan 19Jan 16Jan 12
Jan 9Dec 29Dec 22Dec 19Dec 14Dec 9Dec 8Dec 5
Dec 1Nov 24Nov 22Nov 17Nov 13Nov 10Nov 7Nov 3
Nov 2Oct 30Oct 28Oct 27Oct 23Oct 20Oct 13Oct 10
Oct 6Oct 3Oct 2Sep 29Sep 27Sep 26Sep 1Aug 30
Aug 23Aug 18Aug 16Aug 11Aug 9Aug 4Aug 1Jul 28
Jul 25Jul 21Jul 17Jul 14Jul 11Jul 7Jul 5Jun 30
Jun 27Jun 24Jun 23Jun 11Jun 9Jun 2May 30May 26
May 24May 19May 16May 14May 12May 10May 7May 5
May 2Apr 28Apr 24Apr 21Apr 17Mar 27Mar 24Mar 22
Mar 17Mar 15Mar 10Mar 8Mar 7Mar 3Mar 1Feb 24
Feb 21Feb 17Feb 15Feb 10Feb 7Feb 3Feb 1Jan 27
Jan 24Jan 20Jan 17Jan 13Jan 9Jan 6Jan 3Dec 30
Dec 27Dec 23Dec 19Dec 18Dec 16Dec 15Dec 10Dec 9
Dec 8Dec 6Dec 2Nov 29Nov 25Nov 23Nov 18Nov 15
Nov 11Nov 9Nov 4Nov 1Oct 30Oct 28Oct 26Oct 22
Oct 15Oct 7Oct 4Sep 9Sep 6Sep 2Sep 1Aug 30
Aug 29Aug 25Aug 26Aug 16Aug 12Aug 5

Wednesday, August 20

The conditions this morning were quite pleasant to start, being mostly sunny and warm . Temperatures continued to rise but a mild breeze tempered this somewhat. I took one of the summer help college students, Emily, along to show her some of Fermi's birds. We started with Dusaf and A.E. Sea and found the following shorebirds - Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper (2). In addition, Great Egrets were everywhere (at least 75), as were Great Blue Herons (about 50) and Caspian Terns (about 20). There was not too much to report outside the Lakes Region. We had a couple of Green Herons, a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (again along Wilson Rd), a singing Eastern Phoebe, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Cedar Waxwings (still found in many locations) and a singing Henslow's Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, August 17

The morning was quite pleasant being overcast, mild with a light breeze. Most of our morning was spent along the edges of several wooded areas. These areas were extremely quiet but we did manage a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We also confirmed breeding for Red-eyed Vireo the ugly way - an adult Red-eyed Vireo was observed feeding a fledging Brown-headed Cowbird. A Henslow's Sparrow was found singing very intently north of the Big Woods. A ride in the North Roads area only produced a Turkey Vulture and a family of five American Kestrels. Finally, a stop at Dusaf Pond produced a Green-winged Teal (Fem), a Green Heron, several Lesser Yellowlegs, a couple of Solitary Sandpipers, and a couple of flyby Caspian Terns. Dave

Wednesday, August 13

This morning Marcia and Gail reconfirmed Dickcissel breeding by finding an adult carrying food. Is this a second brood? They also observed three immature Bobolinks which have not been too plentiful of late. They also found another bird needed for this week's list, an Orchard Oriole. Last Saturday Glenn confirmed the Red-shouldered Hawk he had found earlier. He also reported a White-rumped Sandpiper and the first Semipalmated Plover of the fall migration, both seen among most of the other shorebirds that have been found over the last couple of weeks. Dave

Thursday, August 7

It was a very pleasant start to the morning. Although the humidity increased as the morning wore on it never became too uncomfortable. The mosquitoes were again suppressed as long as you stayed out of the woods. Several of us combined for the following species in A.E. Sea and Dusaf including Green Heron, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and Caspian Tern. Al Stokie also added a Bonaparte's Gull. Other birds of interest in the area(s) were a Cooper's Hawk (east of A.E. Sea), Sora, Willow Flycatchers (singing), a Bell's Vireo (east of central path to Sparrow Hedge) and Marsh Wrens. There were over 50 Great Egrets and 30 or more Great Blue Herons found, mostly around the Sea of Evanescence. Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows, both in small numbers, were still singing along North Eola Rd. The four young Ospreys were doing well and taking turns flying around the nest area, then returning to the nest or an adjacent power pole. The parents were seen flying in several locations around the Lab. Dave

Sunday, August 3

The morning was hazy and warm and the mosquitoes were back again in force. We started at A.E. Sea where Willow Flycatchers were still singing. There were again 10 Caspian Terns on the flats. We watched an adult fly in with a fish and feed one of its young. The young tern had quite a struggle getting this fish down. Shorebirds found here were Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Least Sandpiper. A highlight was finding a female Wood Duck with 6 very small ducklings at the south end of A.E. Sea. In the Dusaf Pond area we added several Lesser Yellowlegs and a Short-billed Dowitcher. There were 23 Great Egrets here along with a Green Heron and Black-crowned Night-Heron. Several Marsh Wrens were singing as well as at least two Soras, one being a juvenile. The Village area provided a Cooper's Hawk and Eastern Phoebe. A short walk along the eastern edge of the Big Woods produced a singing Scarlet Tanager and what appeared to be possibly two families of White-breasted Nuthatches competing vocally. Yesterday, Glenn found some additional good birds on the east side of the Lab including an Alder Flycatcher, Purple Martins, Swamp Sparrows and an immature Orchard Oriole. Dave

Thursday, July 31

The morning started mostly sunny and comfortable but warmed through the morning. The mosquitoes were much less of an problem than in the last several weeks. Most of the activity on A.E. Sea was at the south end. Found there were 18 Great Egrets, a pair of American Black Ducks, several Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers, 10 Caspian Terns and a Belted Kingfisher. There was still a good number of Cedar Waxwings in Owls Nest Woods. The cherry trees in the Sparrow Hedge were actively being harvested of ripe cherries by American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Red-winged Blackbirds and American Goldfinches. Still actively singing in the area were several Willow Flycatchers and a Bell's Vireo. A Solitary Sandpiper and singing Marsh Wrens were found in the Dusaf Pond area. Interestingly, the west side of North Eola Rd had more singing Henslow's Sparrows today than at any other time of the season. The fact that the east side of the road had just been mowed may have had something to do with the concentration on the east side. Birds found on the west side of the lab were Wood Ducks (a family), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (a family), and a very agitated Swamp Sparrow (may have a second brood, the first found in mid-June). Marcia and Gail also had some singing birds including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel and 2 juvenile Bobolinks. Dave

Sunday, July 27

The morning was warm and mostly sunny but not uncomfortable. The northern end of A.E. Sea showed quite a bit of activity starting with about twenty Great Egrets and several Great Blue Herons. Shorebirds are starting to show up in small numbers. Found in A.E. Sea were Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpipers. At Dusaf we added a couple of Solitary Sandpipers in addition to a young Cooper's Hawk, a Wood Duck and several Blue-winged Teal. Some of the other birds found were Yellow-billed Cuckoo (heard in the Big Woods), Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, and Orchard Oriole (found near northwest corner of Big Woods). Some grassland birds were still singing including Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels. All four young Ospreys fledged sometime during this past week. This morning three were back on the nest apparently enjoying a fish meal while the fourth fledgling and one of the adults looked on from nearby power poles. Dave

Thursday, July 17

Glenn was finally able to confirm breeding for the pair of Bell's Vireos we have been monitoring in the Sparrow Hedge area this morning. He was able to view both parents with a pair of young birds. In addition, he heard a Black-billed Cuckoo in the area of Batavia and Eola Roads on Saturday. Dave

Sunday, July 13

Conditions were cloudy with seasonal temps, but the major discomfort factor remains the vicious mosquitoes. Upon entering the Lab, a dozen Great Egrets were seen from Batavia Rd. in A.E. Sea and another eight were in Dusaf Pond. The Bell's Vireos appear to have moved from the area they had been frequenting, but one could be heard in the distance. The only other bird of note in the Sparrow Hedge area was a flushed American Woodcock. In the Dusaf area we found a Green Heron and heard a singing Eastern Phoebe. The four Osprey chicks were alone on the Main Injector nest with the parents on adjacent power poles on either side of the nest. One of the chicks was working his wings quite well as the others watched. There is still some activity in the grasslands. A juvenile Dickcissel was spotted along Eola Rd. while others were singing nearby. A family of Eastern Meadowlarks with about four young birds was found in the Main Injector area. Henslow's Sparrows were still singing in a couple of locations. Finally, the Main Injector area also produced a Spotted Sandpiper. Dave

Thursday, July 10

It was another beautiful morning at the Lab except for the mosquitoes which seemed to have turned it up another notch. There were still lots of Cedar Waxwings hanging out in Owl's Nest Woods. In addition, the woods on the east shore of the Sea of Evanescence was also loaded with waxwings. These birds, in both locations, mostly appeared to be hawking insects. The bulk of the recent hordes of Tree Swallows appear to have moved on. Also in the Sparrow Hedge area the same Bell's Vireos were quite active. It was the best day for American Kestrels all year with a family of at least three in the northeast area of the Lab and a pair in the south Eola Rd. area. Both Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels were still singing in several areas. Some of the other birds found during the morning were Turkey Vulture (hanging around a possible nest location), Horned Lark, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Vesper Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, July 6

Weather conditions were nice and mild this morning, while the gnats and mosquitoes were exceptionally irritating in most locations of the Lab. We relocated the calling Bell's Vireo pair in the Sparrow Hedge area. A pair of American Crows were also seen in this area. A Black-crowned Night-Heron was found in the deeper water of Dusaf Pond searching for food - a strange sight. There was also a flyover Cooper's Hawk nearby. In the north Eola Rd. area we found Vesper Sparrows, and both Orchard Orioles and Baltimore Orioles. Also added were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Village area) and a singing Grasshopper Sparrow (Buffalo Fields). Finally, we were able to confirm that all four chicks in the Main Injector Osprey nest are alive and well. Dave

Thursday, July 3

The morning started with a post-breeding survey of the grassland monitor locations. Except for the extremely wet conditions from the overnight rains, the morning was quite pleasant. The grasslands are still quite alive with activity and many of the quality birds were well represented. Only one Grasshopper Sparrow and no Sedge Wrens were found, but Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks were all plentiful in the expected locations. An American Woodcock was spotted inside the Main Ring while going between monitor points. The best bird of the day was a Laughing Gull found circling Lake Law then heading to A.E. Sea, this was a first sighting for the Lab. Some other birds of interest were a Bald Eagle (again in the Dusaf Pond area), Caspian Tern (two by Lake Law), a Ruby-crowned Hummingbird, two Bell's Vireo (a pair apparently guarding a nest), Cedar Waxwings (over sixty in Owls Nest Woods) and a Vesper Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, June 29

It was overcast and temps were pleasant to start, but mosquitoes were again a deterrent. The first part of the morning was spent searching for a Blue Grosbeak found in the inside the Main Ring on Friday by Glenn. The bird was not located. Although, we did find a family of Wood Ducks, a Caspian Tern (flyover), and Orchard Oriole in this area. Other birds found during the morning within the Lab were Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Lark, Wood Thrush, Henslow's Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. There was also an Osprey circling over the nest at Nepese Marsh. Dave

Wednesday, June 25

The morning started out pleasantly cool and overcast. The good news is that the paths through the Sparrow Hedge area have been mowed. There were lots of Tree Swallows in this area. One dead tree contained over 80 Tree Swallows most of which were juveniles. Another large, live tree had 60 or more Tree Swallows circling around - most of these were adults. The highlight birds of the morning were both found at Dusaf Pond. First, a Belted Kingfisher flew in from the east side and apparently disturbed an immature Bald Eagle (with quite a bit of white in its head) which then flew toward the channel to A.E. Sea. At the Main Injector Osprey nest, the female was shielding the chicks from the sun with her half stretched wings. The only other finds of interest were Green Heron, Eastern Phoebe, American Crow and Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, June 22

It was a cool, pleasant morning to be at the Lab aside from the mosquitoes which remain a significant hindrance. That being said there was not much to report for the morning. Some of the birds found were Pied-billed Grebe (two separate birds were calling against each other in the Lake Logo area), Wood Duck, Spotted Sandpiper, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (they have not been too plentiful lately). We saw two chicks on the Main Injector Osprey nest, but reports and pictures confirm a total of four chicks. Dave

Friday, June 20

It was finally possible to do a second grassland bird monitoring without being affected by this week's weather. The grasslands were saturated but this did not appear to have much effect on the birds. Out of eleven monitor points only one had 2 Grasshopper Sparrows. For other species of note three had Henslow's Sparrows, eight had Dickcissels, five had Bobolinks and six had Eastern Meadowlarks. No Sedge Wrens were found. The eleven points are a mix of both high and low quality grasslands. Two chicks were seen on the Main Injector Osprey nest with one adult feeding on a nearby pole while the other had just left the nest to hunt. Some of the other birds of note for the morning were Pied-billed Grebe (still calling in Lake Logo), Ring-necked Pheasant (inside the Ring), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Crow (east side), Horned Lark, and Dickcissels (still singing just about everywhere). Dave

Wednesday, June 18

Marcia and Gail did some monitoring early today before the rains came. Most of the birds found again were typical year-round and summer residents. Of note were Eastern Phoebe (not an easy find in June), several Henslow's Sparrows, and an Orchard Oriole (seems harder to find this year). Their best bird was a Cattle Egret in the Buffalo Fields associating with the buffalo. Also in the Buffalo Field area they found an adult Savannah Sparrow feeding a fledging (the fence along Road D is one of the best locations to find this species in the summer). Dave

Tuesday, June 10

A very light rain did not impact the birds this morning; it was actually quite pleasant in the Lab. A Blue-winged Teal was still in Dusaf along with a Spotted Sandpiper and a bunch of Mallards. A pair of Cooper's Hawks flew over the Garden Club then turned and flew north out of sight. Strange? One of the Red-tailed Hawk chicks was on the nest in the Buffalo Savannah while the other was alongside about five feet away. Both appear ready to fledge. A Turkey Vulture also flew over Wilson Tower. Most of the morning was spent doing a survey of five small woodlots. These areas were quite active with most of the expected resident and summer resident birds. The highlight was the confirmation of breeding Swamp Sparrows with two hungry chicks in their nest. Dave

Sunday, June 8

On a drive by Fermi today I stopped to see the Osprey nest. At least one chick's fuzzy head was seen just above the rim of the nest. More interesting was watching the female Osprey fly in with a branch and then proceed to carefully weave it into the nest's structure. This is a continuing indication of the strong pair bond between these two Ospreys. Denis had a Cooper's Hawk near the Garden Club. In addition, he found an Eastern Phoebe feeding a fledgling in that area. Dave

Thursday, June 5

It was nice and cool to start the first breeding grassland survey for the year. The downside was the boot filling moisture on the grasses. There was a little disappointment in the reduced numbers of grassland birds from the pre-breeding survey of two weeks ago. Only Dickcissels showed increased numbers. Henslow's Sparrows were still well represented, but no Sedge Wrens or Grasshopper Sparrows were found. Also, there were only half as many Bobolinks in today's survey. Some of the other interesting birds found around the Lab were Pied-billed Grebe (again singing in L. Logo), an immature Bald Eagle (Owl's Nest Woods), and an American Woodcock (flushed in Sparrow Hedge area). Lastly, the female Osprey was again apparently tending to chicks, but because of the depth of the nest it may be a while before they are seen. Marcia and Gail came up with a very late Redhead on Dusaf Pond Tuesday. This is only the second sighting of this species found between April and October. Dave

Sunday, June 1

It was warm from the start, and mostly cloudy without enough wind to keep the mosquitoes away in most locations. Not a whole lot to report as summer birding officially started today. Dusaf Pond still had Blue-winged Teal and a Green Heron flew in as we watched. A pair of American Crows flew from the pond; we suspect they have nested in the Village (their numbers still remain well below the pre-West Nile years). No Ospreys were found in the area of the Nepese Marsh nest while the other pair of Ospreys were on the Main Injector nest and appeared actively feeding or at least attending to their young . (Note: the young were not actually seen yet). We found a pair of Cedar Waxwings preparing a nest for their breeding season inside the Main Ring. Just a few more sightings of note were Pied Billed Grebe (singing), Horned Lark, Wood Thrush (singing), and in the grasslands both singing Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels (again just about everywhere). Dave

Thursday, May 29

It was another beautiful morning today starting mostly cloudy and mild with minimal wind. Driving in by the north end of A.E. Sea were two Great Blue Herons, one holding a very large carp. I thought there would be another heron/carp exhibition as we had last Sunday, but a third heron flew in disturbing the carp-holding heron. The carp was dropped and swam off as the herons interacted. There was not much to report from the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. Found were female Hooded Merganser (A.E. Sea), American Coot (Lake Law), Spotted Sandpipers, Chimney Swifts (about half doz. flying around the area), Alder Flycatcher (still at least one), Bell's Vireo (singing), and several Savannah Sparrows (edges of A.E. Sea). The two young Red-tailed Hawks on the nest in the Buffalo Savannah appear ready to fledge any day now. I missed the Ospreys at the Nepese Marsh nest, but Glenn found them there later in the morning. The female Osprey on the Main Injector Nest appears to be higher now and probably has hatchlings. We should hopefully see some chicks soon. A quick trip through the Big Woods did not produce anything exciting while many of the expected birds were singing away including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, House Wren and Indigo Bunting. Some of the other birds of note around the Lab were Wood Duck, White-breasted Nuthatch (flew from possible nest tree), Cedar Waxwings (flock of around 20), Scarlet Tanagers (a couple singing), Dickcissels (singing just about everywhere), and Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Sunday, May 25

It was a beautiful morning with the only irritation being the gnats that were constantly in your face in most locations around the Lab. The migration has just about run its course. That being said, the migrants of the day were Alder Flycatchers. Typically we have two or three of these migrants come through in a season. Today, there were five or more just in the Sparrow Hedge area and we had some in other locations. Some of the other birds in the Hedge area were Blue-winged Teal, Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and singing Bell's Vireos. Some other birds found in other locations were Pied-billed Grebe (a second was singing inside the Ring), Marsh Wren, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink and Baltimore Oriole. A highlight for all of us was watching a Great Blue Heron fly into the Swenson Rd. horse fuddle with a very large bullhead. It would take the fish and throw it to the ground and (apparently) watch for movement. The heron would then spear at the fish several times, pick it up and throw it down again. This process was repeated numerous times (we watched for over five minutes). In the later stages the heron would start the swallowing process (obviously head first because of the fishes spines) but, apparently feeling life still in the fish, would throw it down again. Eventually, the heron was sufficiently satisfied that the fish was safe and gulped the fish down with several strained gyrations. Glen led a DBC Field Trip at the Lab this morning also. He seemed to have a little better luck. Some of the additional birds found were Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Caspian Tern, American Kestrel (on Eola Rd nest box, where has he been Lately?), Warbling Vireo, Horned Lark, Sedge Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Connecticut Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Friday, May 23

Another beautiful morning today at Fermilab which was warm, calm (to start), and sunny. On the east side of the Lab the lakes provided little of interest with a Blue-winged Teal on Dusaf and Spotted Sandpiper by A.E. Sea. On a quick loop of the Sparrow Hedge area there was not much of note, except among the numerous singing Willow Flycatchers there was a single Alder Flycatcher. There was also an Osprey hunting the edges of Lake Law on my way in and again on my way out of the area. Most of the morning was spent monitoring several mixed woodlots with scrubby edges. Warblers were almost nonexistent, but there were some interesting finds. Of interest was a Red-headed Woodpecker, another Alder Flycatcher, several Warbling Vireos, at least one Red-eyed Vireo in each location, a Nashville Warbler, and a fair number of both Indigo Buntings and Baltimore Orioles. My favorite part of the morning was finding both Hairy Woodpecker and Black-capped Chickadee nests. The chickadee nest, in a small downed tree, contained five featherless chicks. A few other birds of interest were an American Woodcock (Main Injector area), Sedge Wrens (Main Ring), Grasshopper Sparrow (Interpretive Trail), and Henslow Sparrows (Main Ring).

Wednesday, May 21

On Monday, Glen found all swallow species (except martin) at Dusaf. An evening walk inside the Main Ring produced three displaying American Woodcocks, three Common Nighthawks, and two each singing Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows. On Tuesday, Marcia and Gail added some good birds in the area of the Main Injector including Least Flycatcher, American Crow, Tennessee Warbler, Henslow's Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Tuesday, May 20

The early morning was spent on a grassland, pre-breeding survey. The weather was very good with partly sunny skies, mild temps and just a little bit of wind. Some of the highlights were Sedge Wrens inside the Ring (this is an early return over the last several years), Grasshopper Sparrows (only in one location), Henslow's Sparrows (found in over half of the locations), Dickcissels (these first ones were in several locations), and Bobolinks (in very good numbers at about half the locations). The remainder of the morning was spent birding random locations. Warblers are on the decline finding only Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat. A late trip to the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region provided some surprises. A Caspian Tern had returned to A.E. Sea. The only other bird of interest here was a Blue-winged Teal. An immature Bald Eagle was found in Owl Nest Woods. Other birds in the Sparrow Hedge area were Common Nighthawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Willow Flycatcher (several singing throughout the area), and Yellow-throated Vireo. Shorebirds were very sparse but a White-rumped Sandpiper was found in Dusaf Pond. Some of the other interesting birds found were Ring-necked Pheasant, Marsh Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Wood Thrush, and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, May 18

Other than being a little cool, it was a very nice morning for birding with partly sunny skies and moderate winds. Shorebird habitat is just starting to return to A.E. Sea and Dusaf but is still minimal. The only shorebirds found were Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Least Sandpiper. Denis' group added spotted Sandpiper. There were still good numbers of swallows around (though not the quantities of Friday) including some Cliff Swallows. Blue-winged Teal and Wood Ducks were found in their expected habitats. An Osprey was spotted on the Nepese nest with a second Osprey feeding on a fish about 75 yards away in a tree. Most of our time was spent in the woods. Even though the overall number of warblers was not large, the diversity was quite good. We had a dozen warbler species including Golden-winged Warbler (at least 3), Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and Wilson's Warbler. Other birds found in the Big Woods were Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting. Some other birds of note froom around the Lab were Turkey Vulture, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow. Denis' group added Pied-billed Grebe, Cattle Egret (same location as Friday), Chimney Swift, and Cedar Waxwing. Dave

Friday, May 16

The weather this morning made for miserable birding conditions with cold temps, rain and moderate winds. Conditions aside, the birding was very good. Most of the shorebird habitat on A.E. Sea and Dusaf Pond has been consumed by recent rains. Shorebirds found in this area were Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper all in small numbers. A Greater Yellowlegs was added around Swenson Road. There were very large numbers of swallows around the lakes. Found were Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows (good numbers), Cliff Swallows (largest number I have seen here), and Barn Swallows (most numerous). They would perch in large numbers regularly for great viewing. Most of the common shrubland birds were singing in the Sparrow Hedge area during the rain including Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow and Song Sparrow. Other birds of interest in the area were Blue-winged Teal, Common Nighthawk (this one a flyby), Least Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler and Lincoln's Sparrow. A lone Cattle Egret (Bird of the Day) was in the Swenson Road horse fuddle. A single Osprey was again perched at Nepese Marsh. Earlier in the week Dave Shemanske found two Ospreys there. Additional warblers found inside the Main Ring Woods were Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and American Redstart (after Palm, the most numerous warbler) for a total of 13 species. Some other birds found around the Lab were Great Horned Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Henslow's Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Saturday, May 10

Today was our Spring Bird Count and the weather was just about perfect with mild temps, partly cloudy skies and fairly mild winds. The morning was spent on the east side of the Lab. Then after lunch we visited the Big Woods, the Main Ring, the North Roads and various spots in between. Most all the waterfowl were in the Lakes Region. The standouts were a pair of Gadwall and a female Hooded Merganser. Caspian Terns were still in this area also. All of the species of shorebirds were found at A.E. Sea or Dusaf Pond; later some were duplicated elsewhere. Species found (11) were Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper (including 4 chicks), Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper (93), White-rumped Sandpiper (2), Pectoral Sandpiper, and Dunlin. All the remaining sightings were found throughout the day in various locations. Sparrow species found (10) were Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow (38), Henslow's Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. Most of these were found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. Next, are the warblers of which we had 18 species. Though not as impressive as locations along the rivers, this is a very respectable number of warblers for the Lab. Those found were Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler (brilliant), Palm Warbler (59), Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, and Wilson's Warbler. The neatest sighting of the day was a perched Common Nighthawk found by Frank. We continue our drought of thrushes with only single sightings of both Gray-cheeked Thrush and Swainson's Thrush. We confirmed breeding of Horned Larks by finding a couple of adults carrying food to a nest. Some of the other sightings worth mentioning were Sora (5), American Coot (3), Great Horned Owl (3), Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker (2), Willow Flycatcher (an early arrival), Blue-headed Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, Scarlet Tanager (2), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, and Dickcissel (earliest sighting for the Lab). After everything was totaled up at the end of the day we ended up with 112 species. This is a new record for the SBC within the Lab. We want to thank Steve and Frank for their help. Dave

Friday, May 9

Here's a catch-up on some other sightings, on May 3rd Glen had a number of good birds including Sandhill Crane, Stilt Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Warbling Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, Northern Waterthrush, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole. Marcia and Gail searched their areas on May 7th and found several good birds with highlights being Sora, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, Lincoln's Sparrow (a very high number of 7 birds), Indigo Bunting (year's first), and a late Rusty Blackbird (typical last sighting week). On May 8th Glen supplied another list of birds some of the highlights were Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Scarlet Tanager. Dave

Wednesday, May 7

It was a beautiful morning for birding today with mild temps, partly cloudy skies and moderate winds. In the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region both waterfowl and sparrow numbers were down from Sunday with only one shorebird, a Lesser Yellowlegs found. Waterfowl, all in A.E. Sea, were Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser. In this region Swamp Sparrows were still most prominent with White-crowned Sparrows a close second (in other locations the White-crowned Sparrows were by far the most prominent). Other sparrows in the region were Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow. Warblers in the region were overwhelmingly Palm Warblers. Others found were Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. Other birds of note in the region were Green Heron, Eastern Kingbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Bobolink. Found at Dusaf Pond were Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper and American Crow (they are again fairly regular on the east side of the Lab). The remaining birds were found inside the Main Ring and a few small woodlots around the Lab. About 20 American Coots were in Lake Logo. In the Main Ring Savannah there was another late Winter Wren and the bird of the day, a singing Carolina Wren (only the second sighting of this species in the Lab). Additional Sparrows found here were Henslow's Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow while additional warblers found were Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, and Northern Waterthrush. I was surprised to find both Gray-cheeked Thrush and Wood Thrush without seeing a single Swenson's yet this year. The Great Horned Owl owlet has left Nest 2 - hopefully it fledged successfully. Only one adult was found in the area. Other birds of note were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Thrasher, and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Sunday, May 4

The morning started mild and mostly cloudy then cooled slightly later on. Birding was again quite good starting with our first stop at the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. Waterfowl were about the same with Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, and Ruddy Ducks found. Shorebirds included Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Dunlin. Also seen were seven species of Sparrows including Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Warblers were present but not in big numbers. Seen were Yellow Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. Other birds found in the area were American White Pelicans (at least 40), a Green Heron, a Red-headed Woodpecker, a Least Flycatcher, American Crows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Bobolinks. Shorebirds added at Dusaf Pond were Stilt Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher (5). In the Big Woods we added a very late Winter Wren, a Gray Catbird, Black-throated Green Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-and-White Warblers and another Pine Warbler. Other birds found during the morning were Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Sparrow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Chipping Sparrow, Barred Owl and a pair of Great Horned Owls. Dave

Thursday, May 1

It was cold, rainy and windy this morning, but birding was quite good. Once again the morning started in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. There were still 10 Caspian Terns and 3 American White Pelicans there. Waterfowl included Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and Green-winged Teal. Down on the flats were Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. The Hedge area was filled with the songs of multiple White-throated Sparrows. Also up in the Hedge area were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and two large groups of Cedar Waxwings. There were American Crows in the Village while Eastern Bluebirds and Field Sparrows were added in the Garden Club. Dusaf Pond was all about shorebirds. Found there were Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, Dunlin and a Short-billed Dowitcher. The Big Woods was quite active. Some of the highlights were Wood Ducks, a Solitary Sandpiper, Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Hermit Thrushes, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warblers (in good numbers), Black-and-White Warblers and a Turkey Vulture (flyover). Added from some small wood lots were House Wren, Pine Warbler, and Lincoln's Sparrow. The female Osprey on the Main Injector nest was barely visible in the nest due to the inclement weather. Good news from the owl front - two Great Horned Owl owlets were found huddled together on a branch about twenty-five yards from the pine tree that contained their downed nest. One of the adults was nearby keeping an eye on their charges. Marcia and Gail also added Spotted Sandpipers (Year's first), but more significantly they were in the same area in the Main Injector area where they have successfully bred for the last several years. They also found an American Kestrel in the area of the Swenson Rd. nest box, hopefully, the European Starlings I spotted in the nest box last week will be evicted. Dave

Monday, April 28

Glen reported some good birds from late last week. First in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region he had Caspian Terns (highest count to date - 28), American Pelicans (13), and a first for the year Short-billed Dowitcher - all by A.E. Sea. There were lots of sparrows in the area; mostly Swamp Sparrows and an American Tree Sparrow (possibly the same one we had on Sunday). American Kestrels were found near the nest box by the Security Offices. He also noticed the Osprey on the Nepese Nest. Hopefully he'll find a mate. In some of the grasslands inside the Main Ring and around Lake Logo there were Ruddy Ducks (13), Wilson's Snipe (6), and for new birds there was a Black-crowned Night Heron and Virginia Rail. Dave

Sunday, April 27

Take away the strong winds this morning and it would have been a really good day for birding. Because of the wind we spent most of our time in the woods but first we checked out the A.E. Sea area. It was tough to get on most of the sparrows around the perimeter of the Sea due to the wind and vegetation. There were mostly Swamp Sparrows, some Song Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow and at least one American Tree Sparrow. Added from other locations were Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows. Found in the Sea were Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American White Pelican (one was still remaining), Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper (1), Pectoral Sandpiper (about 25), Wilson's Snipe, and Caspian Tern (14) (at one time all were lined up in pairs). Green-winged Teal and Stilt Sandpiper were added at Dusaf Pond. Some of the birds found in the area of the Big Woods were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler, and various sparrows. In two different locations we observed Great Blue Herons with snakes in their bills. Also found, mostly riding around the Main and Injector Ring areas, were Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, and American Coot. It appears the female Osprey from Nest 1 is settled in atop her eggs. Nest 2 has a single adult (thought to be a male) hanging around and sometimes on the nest but as of yet does not appear to have a mate. Dave

Friday, April 25

Marcia and Gail had beautiful weather and lots of birds this morning, mostly in the areas of the Main Injector and Main Ring. Some of their highlights were Gadwall, Double-crested Cormorant, American Coot, Wilson's Snipe, Solitary Sandpiper (first of year), Caspian Tern, Belted Kingfisher (another first of year bird), American Kestrel, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Rusty Blackbird. Sparrows found were Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Wednesday, April 23

It was a cool and sunny start this morning with only a moderate increase in temps throughout the morning. A.E. Sea was quite busy with twenty-one American White Pelicans in two groups in the water (up to 40 were found over the weekend). Waterfowl included American Black Ducks (a pair), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and Green-winged Teal. Around the fringes of the Sea, sparrows were quite active and are becoming a major focal point of the migration season. Included were Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow (most numerous), and White-throated Sparrow. Flyovers were a Green Heron over A.E. Sea, Wilson's Snipe flushed at A.E Sea, a Caspian Tern (Peter had at least 20 over the weekend), and about 20 Pectoral Sandpipers circling over Lake Law. The Sparrow Hedge area was sort of quiet with only a few highlights including Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Palm Warbler. Singing were several Eastern Towhees and a bunch of Field Sparrows. Dusaf Pond had several Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs plus the flock of Pectoral Sandpipers (assumed) seen earlier. An Osprey was perched above the nest platform at Nepese Marsh while a Red-tailed Hawk was seen carrying nesting material to one of the power towers behind the marsh. Note: Please respect the barrier closing off the Nepese Marsh and stay out of that area, thank you. Other sparrows found today were a very large number of Chipping Sparrows, a Dark-eyed Junco and a Clay-colored Sparrow in the Garden Club. Vesper Sparrows were also found in the North Roads area. A Cooper's Hawk was seen chasing a distressed sparrow into a small woodlot next to the Garden Club. Both adult Great Horned Owls were in the area of Nest 2 while a single owlet barely looked over the edge of the nest. Other highlights of the morning were Wood Ducks, Horned Larks, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, a House Wren, a Hermit Thrush, and Rusty Blackbirds (still a nice group in a wooded wetland). Dave

Saturday, April 19

To catch up on some other sightings from the week, first last Sunday (Apr. 13) Glenn had several Franklin's Gulls on Casey's Pond in the early afternoon. Then on Friday, Gail and Marcia found the first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the year (Note: This has been the first week of arrival for gnatcatchers over the last five survey periods - 25 years) , a couple of late Brown Creepers and they also heard an American Woodcock (these have been fairly elusive this year). Dave

Wednesday, April 16

This morning it was cold for the season (ice had returned to the shallow parts of some of the waters), sunny and breezy to start. As the morning progressed it warmed, clouded up and became quite windy. There were no big surprises in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region. On the lakes were American Black Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes, American White Pelicans (15), Great Egrets, and Greater Yellowlegs. American Tree Sparrows still remain the prominent sparrow species. Swamp Sparrows were well represented as were Song Sparrows with several Field Sparrows being heard. The Garden Club was very quiet with only an American Kestrel, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and several Dark-eyed Juncos in the area. The bird of the morning was a Lark Sparrow found on west Wilson Street. Both Ospreys were on the Main Injector Nest while a third bird was circling above. Again, Ospreys were sighted several other times throughout the morning, so who knows how many are in the area. Gail has the highest tally with four. Other birds of mention were Wood Duck, American Coot, Lesser Yellowlegs, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow (in good numbers), Hermit Thrush, and Brown Thrasher (singing in several locations). A second Great Horned Owl nest was found with the female on the nest and the male nearby. The first nest appears to have been blown down. Since it is in a tall pine tree it is hard to tell if the owlet survived, but one of the adults was perched just above the nest location. When I went to check below the pine, the owl would not flush which leads me to think the owlet may still be up there. Dave

Monday, April 14

I forgot to mention yesterday that Gail reported four Ospreys in the Main Injector on Friday. Then yesterday (Sunday) we observed Ospreys in several locations throughout the Lab but never seeing more than two together at any one time (none of the sightings were in the area of the Nepese Nest). Finally, Dave Shemanske reported today seeing a pair of Osprey in the area of the Nepese Marsh nest platform. Hopefully, we'll soon be a two- Osprey nest site. Dave

Sunday, April 13

It was warm and partly sunny to start, changing to overcast as the morning wore on. The bird(s) of the morning were nine American White Pelicans on A.E. Sea. Other birds found in the area were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Double-crested Cormorant, Barn Swallow, and Brown Thrasher. The Big Woods produced a Cooper's Hawk, Golden-crowned Kinglet, several Hermit Thrushs and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Several small to medium blackbird flocks produced lots of female Red-wing Blackbirds (males also), several Rusty Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and at least one Brewer's Blackbird. Sparrow numbers are on the rise. Found were Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows (at least a dozen), Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and still a few Dark-eyed Juncos and good numbers of American Tree Sparrows. Other birds found around the Lab were Pied-billed Grebe, Turkey Vulture, American Coot, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebe and American Crow. Dave

Friday, April 11

Several new year birds were reported over the last two days. First Glenn found three Pectoral Sandpipers and a Savannah Sparrow at A.E. Sea on Thursday. He also found a Winter Wren and Brown Creeper in the Nepese Marsh area. The other new year bird was White Pelican. Six of these were spotted flying from the east toward A.E. Sea this evening. Dave

Wednesday, April 9

This morning started out cool, clear and calm. It warmed rather quickly and the wind remained quite mild until mid-morning. The Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region was covered first. Waterfowl numbers continue to drop, but there still was a good variety including Wood Duck, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Ruddy Duck. Again, American Tree Sparrows were the most abundant of the sparrows with Song Sparrows also well represented. There were also about a half dozen Fox Sparrows and several White-throated Sparrows. New arrivals were Hermit Thrush (very crisp in the bright sun), Eastern Towhee (several singing as the temps increased), and Brown Thrasher (again singing). An American Robin was putting the finishing touches on her nest. Birds added from several small woodlots being monitored were Great Horned Owl, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird (earliest arrival on record), Golden-crowned Kinglet (another new arrival), Eastern Bluebird, and Rusty Blackbird (about a dozen). Main Ring Lake added Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe (new arrival), and American Coot. The Main Injector Moat was empty, though it was after noon time when checked. The Osprey pair was moving around the nest area and an American Kestrel was on a monitor post along North Eola Road. Dave

Sunday, April 6

It was a great morning for a walk and we covered a large area of the Main Ring grasslands and wetlands for a change. It was cool and mostly sunny to start but warmed quite fast as we walked. Strangely our first bird in the area was a Great Horned Owl in the bushes along the moat. The most common birds in the area were American Tree Sparrows with several Song Sparrows and a single Swamp Sparrow. Several Wilson's Snipe were flushed but the Short-eared Owl seen by the Roads and Grounds personnel was not found. Note: I was also in the area on Friday and did not find the owl. As we walked along Lake Logo we found Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Redheads, and large numbers of Ring-necked Ducks. Even though the numbers of waterfowl continue to drop, we later added Wood Duck, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck in other areas. Main Ring Lake had a half dozen Horned Grebes and over a dozen American Coots. We heard, then spotted, a group of about eight Greater White-fronted Geese flying over the lake. We found the first Great Egret of the year by Swan Lake. There was a nice group of Fox Sparrows also inside the Ring and several groups of Rusty Blackbirds were found by the Main Injector. Other flyovers included a couple of Turkey Vultures, three Sandhill Cranes and a Cooper's Hawk. As we left the area both Ospreys were together on their nest. Dave

Wednesday, April 2

It was a nice morning for a trip through the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes area with mild temps, partly cloudy skies and mild winds (at least in the early morning). Lake Law was quite barren with only a pair of Ring-necked Ducks and a couple of Double-crested Cormorants. The number of waterfowl on A.E. Sea and Sea of Evanescence was far less than on previous visits. Species of note were Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, and Hooded Merganser. There were still a large number of American Tree Sparrows in the area with a good number of Song Sparrows, about a dozen Fox Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and a lone Dark-eyed Junco. Some of the other birds found in the area were American Coot, Killdeer, Northern Flicker, Eastern Meadowlark and Brown-headed Cowbird (unfortunately, several pairs). Several Tree Swallows were staking claims to the bird houses along the buffalo fence on D Road. A group of thirty blackbirds along West Wilson appeared to be all Rusty Blackbirds. The Big Woods was quite active with mostly White-breasted Nuthatches and woodpeckers the species in descending order of numbers were Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers. Other finds here were Wood Duck, Great Horned Owl (pair), Eastern Phoebe, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren and more Rusty Blackbirds. The Great Horned Owl nest is occupied by at least one owlet. The big news of the morning was the return of the pair of Ospreys to the nest in the Main Injector area. Lastly, I received a phone picture of a Short-eared Owl taken today by the Roads and Grounds personnel inside the Main Ring. Dave

Sunday, March 30

Another morning with a cool start, but minimal winds and bright sun warmed conditions rather quickly. One of our very first birds on Lake Law was a Horned Grebe (a first for the year). Another impressive list of waterfowl was found throughout the Lab including Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-Winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-Winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser and Ruddy Duck. American Coots and Killdeer were present in a couple of locations. Another new year bird found was Eastern Phoebe. The Ed Center feeders were very quite except for several Rusty Blackbird nearby. A pair of American Kestrels were huddled together on the kestrel box near Batavia and Eola Road intersection. A Red-breasted Nuthatch was found at a village feeder and American Crows were found in a couple of locations. Many of the same birds were found by Al Stokie, while he added a Lesser Black-backed Gull on Casey's Pond. Dave

Wednesday, March 26

Although still cool by seasonal standards, it was quite pleasant with light winds for a trip around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. The cooler temps closed up a good portion of the previously open waters of A.E. Sea, but the area still held a good number of waterfowl. Waterfowl of interest in the area were Wood Duck, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail. There were a fair number of sparrows in the area; most were American Tree Sparrows. There were also good numbers of Song Sparrows, several Fox Sparrows, some Dark-eyed Juncos, and a couple of Swamp Sparrows. Also found were American Coots, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds. A couple of other woodlots contained large sized flocks of blackbirds. Both had good numbers of Rusty Blackbirds (one was mostly Rustys). Some of the other waterfowl found were Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, and Ruddy Duck. Other sightings of interest were several Turkey Vultures (again near Wilson Hall), Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flicker, American Crow, and Eastern Meadowlark. Finally, the female Great Horned Owl was still atop the lone active nest we've found this winter. Dave

Sunday, March 23

Again it was a cool morning for the season, but the real problem was the wind which made for uncomfortable conditions. An increased number of waterfowl were found throughout the Lab including Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, and Ruddy Duck. The best bird of the morning was a late Northern Shrike (historically none have been seen after March until mid-October). Other birds of note were American Coot (in increased numbers), Horned Lark, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Eastern Bluebird. Yesterday Peter added some first-of-the-year birds including Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal and a Thayer's Gull. Dave

Thursday, March 20

Temps were fairly mild with cloudy skies clearing throughout the morning. Best of all the winds were minimal. Although waterfowl were not my key target group for the morning, it's hard to be in the Lab and not come up with a respectable species list of these birds. Found throughout the Lab were Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck. There has been an increasing number of waterfowl being found in A.E. Sea as it thaws. In addition, today there were American Coots, and several Killdeer there. A highlight of the day was watching a pair of American Crows fly overhead and into the Village with nesting material. Eastern Meadowlarks were singing in several areas and Horned Larks were still along several roads. About the only sighting of note in the Garden Club were a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. The woods were much more active than in the recent past. Both American Robin and Song Sparrow numbers were considerably increased from last week. Woodpeckers were quite active including several each Hairy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. Also found were a Great Horned Owl and about a half dozen Fox Sparrows. The female was still atop the lone Great Horned Owl nest. A very large flock of blackbirds, at the edge of one woodlot, contained Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and a good number of Rusty Blackbirds. Finally, a number of high flying Sandhill Cranes were heard while several Turkey Vultures patrolled the lower elevations. Dave

Tuesday, March 18

Marcia and Gail had three new year birds today including Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, and Sandhill Crane (flyovers). Peter may have had some sandhills last week during the warming trend that didn't get recorded. Dave

Sunday, March 16

It was quite cold this morning compared to the last several days. In addition, the windy conditions made for uncomfortable open-area birding. We came up with three new year birds among a mixed blackbird flock at the Roads and Grounds feeders. They were Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird. The Ed Center bird feeders were fairly active with the expected late winter birds. The only bird of note was a Fox Sparrow. The bulk of the morning was spent checking the increasing amount of open water around the Lab. The impressive list of early spring waterfowl included Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck (first ones seen since early January, thanks Joe), Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead , Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser (2-pair). Additional birds found were Great Blue Heron, American Coot, American Woodcock, Horned Lark and Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Thursday, March 13

Gail and Marcia found a new waterfowl species for the year today, with a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Dave

Wednesday, March 12

It was a very pleasant morning for birding at Fermilab today being cloudy, warm and, best of all, calm. There was lots of waterfowl activity in the air around the Lab, both the local and long range type. As a result, any open water around the Lab held birds. Main Ring Lake held the most and best variety of birds including Greater White-fronted Goose (about a half dozen), Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. Birds added from the Main Injector Moats were Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, and Red-breasted Merganser in addition to the American Coots that have been winter residents. Northern Pintails were added from A.E. Sea. The woods still show minimal activity. Found in addition to the typical woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and starlings were (from several locations) a Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, and Song Sparrows on the fringes. Most of the sparrows found were around the feeders and these were just American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. American Crows were found on both the east and west sides of the Lab. New for the year were both Killdeer and Eastern Meadowlark. Finally, the only Great Horned Owl nest of the year is still occupied and, from her stature, it appears the young have hatched. Dave

Sunday, March 9

Today there was a cool start to a mostly sunny morning with a little warming during our stay. Another good mix of waterfowl was found on the open waters around the Lab. Many more birds were more evenly dispersed than on Thursday. Those found were Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser. Again, several American Coots were found in the Main Injector Moat. Horned Larks were still observed along several of the roadways. An American Crow was again found on the west side of the Lab, while both American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds were more noticeable than on recent trips. Peter mentioned also having Greater White-fronted Geese and Green-winged Teal over the last several days. Dave

Thursday, March 6

The morning started out cool but warmed quickly under the bright sun. It didn't reach the average temperature for this date but was very pleasant anyway. I spent most of the time in the woods but did check most of the open bodies water before hand. Found were most of the typical recent species including Canada Geese, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. There were noticeably less birds than my last two visits. Several American Coots were also still around. Despite spending much time and trudging through snow up to my knees (in some locations) in various wood lots, there is not much to report. Many wood lots were quite quiet only having the typical winter and year-round residents. Of note were a Great Horned Owl, several Northern Flickers, and a couple of American Robins. Sparrows were very sparse. Seen along the roads were several small groups of Horned Larks, an American Crow, and a Red-winged Blackbird. The bird of the day was the first Long-eared Owl of the season followed shortly by a second Great Horned Owl. Dave

Sunday, March 2

The snow had ended this morning when we started out, but it was still cold enough to keep us out of the woods. As with much of the winter, our focus was waterfowl. The big miss of the morning was the lack of White-winged Scoters. We checked all of the open waters around the Lab. It's still possible we may have missed them, but they may have gone to the river. Hopefully, they will be back before heading to Lake Michigan, as it should start to thaw soon. Most of the other waterfowl found were some regulars over the last several weeks including Canada Geese, Gadwall, Mallards, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and Common Merganser. The total number of waterfowl was far less than what I witnessed on Thursday evening. This is a typical phenomena in the Lab, whereby many ducks return to the Lab's open waters from elsewhere to spend the night. American Coots were found among the waterfowl as were a couple of Herring Gulls. Several flocks of Horned Larks were found throughout the Lab ranging in size from less than ten to about forty. A Great Blue Heron was seen flying through the Lab's cold air. Finally, a lone American Kestrel, rare for this winter, was spotted atop a small tree looking somewhat like a shrike. Marcia and Gail added a Canvasback on Friday. Dave

Thursday, February 27

After being away for a few weeks not much has changed; waterfowl still remain the key birding targets around the Lab. About the only non-waterfowl mentioned by Peter during these past few weeks were Barred Owl, Northern Shrike (several sightings), and Cedar Waxwings. Both the Trumpeter Swan and Mute Swans appear to have left the area about a week ago. Today, on a late afternoon and evening trip, the waterfowl I found were all mentioned by Peter as being around over the last several weeks. The birds I found in the Main Injector Moats were Canada Goose, Mallard, Redhead (in very good numbers), Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, White-winged Scoter (3), Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye (also in good numbers with more coming in regularly), Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser. Marcia and Gail also added Gadwall and Lesser Scaup yesterday. Also, several American Coots were found. Interestingly, Main Ring Lake was void of any birds around 4:00. When the lake was checked around 6:00 there was about 30 Common Mergansers with several Common Goldeneye coming in. Horned Larks were also evident along Main Ring Road. The only Great Horned Owl nest found to date, at the end of January, is still occupied. Dave

Sunday, February 2

A fresh layer of snow made for a beautiful scene this bright sunny morning. It was quite cold but the minimal winds helped make conditions bearable. The waterfowl remain at an impressive status quo including Canada Geese, a Trumpeter Swan, two Mute Swans, a Gadwall, Mallards, Redheads, a Ring-necked Duck, a Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, a Red-breasted Merganser and another new arrival, a Canvasback. Again, the American Coots were also present. The feeders were not very active this morning. Then after awhile a Sharp-shinned Hawk swooped in to clarify the salutation. We watched the hawk move around the area for awhile looking for the perfect perch with which to observe the feeders. We finally found the first Northern Shrike of the year inside the Main Ring. Some of the other birds of note were Great Blue Heron, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Horned Lark, Eastern Bluebird and American Robin. Denis' group added a Barred Owl and Peter a Cooper's Hawk on his way out of the Lab. Dave

Friday, January 31

Weather this morning at the Lab was very pleasant with mild temperatures (compared to recent visits) and very mild winds. With these conditions I was surprised to find very little passerine activity. The only passerines of note were Eastern Bluebird, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow. Waterfowl were similar to those found over the last few trips including Canada Geese, Trumpeter Swan, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead (Fem), Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser and a new arrival Greater Scaup. The American Coots are also still around. Northern Flickers were found in several locations; it's been a good year for them. Other birds of interest were a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Harrier (male), a couple of Great Horned Owls (including the first nest of the year), and a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, January 26

By the time we started this morning the snow had accumulated to approx. 3" and then stopped. Starting out quite cool, the temperatures increased to seasonable levels while the wind, as typical recently, increased. Most of the morning's highlights were waterfowl; almost all of these were found in the Main Injector Moats. The new bird for the year was Mute Swan (actually a couple of these have been around since Thursday). The other waterfowl found were Trumpeter Swan, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead (Denis' class added this female), Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, and Red-breasted Merganser. The feeders had most of the typical winter birds including Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow. The only other bird of mention we had was a Northern Flicker. We failed in our searches for snipe, larks and longspurs. Denis later added American Coot, Rough-legged Hawk and Horned Lark. Dave

Wednesday, January 22

The morning was pretty cold with moderate winds to start. As a result it took awhile for the birds to start any serious activity. Even the waterfowl in the open water areas were quite subdued. Found on the Main Injector Moats were the Trumpeter Swan, Canada Geese, a Gadwall, Redheads (over a dozen males and one female; very stiff competition there I think), a Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneyes, and Common Mergansers. Also, there were still at least two American Coots around. Later some woodlots inside the Ring area provided some activity with woodpeckers most noticeable. There were Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers and at least one Northern Flicker. There was one Great Horned Owl, but no nests have been found to date. I had several Song Sparrows and American Robins along with the other typical winter birds. A large flock of American Tree Sparrows (over 50) was found in the fields near Lake Logo; about the only birds I found active outside the woods. The feeders again had the typical winter mix of birds with the exception of a female Purple Finch by the Ed Center feeders. I think there was a male also, but it never returned for confirmation. In addition, a Purple Finch was reported at the Roads and Grounds feeders yesterday. Dave

Sunday, January 19

The morning started out quite cold and windy. Both temperature and wind increased throughout the morning to just about cancel each other out. Most open waters closed up to less than half the area that was available on Thursday. The swan and some of the other waterfowl found Thursday were not found. On the Main Injector Moats we found Canada Geese, Mallards, Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers and the female Red-breasted Merganser. There were still 2 or 3 American Coots in the main moat as well. Feeders were moderately active but with only the typical winter birds. The only other interesting find was about 40 Horned Larks in the north roads area. Denis' class added a few birds also to the morning's list. First, the Gadwall was relocated. Then they had a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Harrier inside the Main Ring and finally a Bald Eagle flying over A.E. Sea. Dave

Thursday, January 16

Average temps with occasional light snow provided good birding conditions especially if you were out of the brisk winds. The Trumpeter Swan was back on the Main Injector Moat joined by Canada Geese, 2 Redheads, a Ring-necked Duck (both new for the year), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, a Red-breasted Merganser (female) and 3 American Coots. Other than the typical winter sparrows there were a number of Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow (year's first) while Marcia and Gail added a White-throated Sparrow (another first for the year). Other birds of note were several Great Horned Owls, two Northern Flickers and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Today Marcia and Gail also added a Gadwall, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, and Horned Lark. Also, later last Sunday, Peter added the Lab's first American Crow. Dave

Sunday, January 12

Jan. 12, 2014 It was quite a mild, calm start for a January morning. The temperatures did rise from there but so did the wind. Waterfowl were found in Main Ring Lake and the Main Injector Moats. The birds found were Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. The swan was not found but the two American Coots found Thursday were still on the M I Moat. Raptors found were several Red-tailed Hawks and a Northern Harrier. The only sparrows found were American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The other birds of note for a mid-winter morning were Great Blue Heron, Herring Gull, Great Horned Owl (pair near nest site), Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Horned Lark, and American Robin. Dave

Thursday, January 9

It was a great morning of birding today despite the still cold, but warming, temperatures. My first Fermi bird of the year was a Rough-legged Hawk which flew to and landed in the tallest tree on the west shore of Lake Law. Peter had already had a Rough-legged Hawk last week. Later, a Sharp-shinned Hawk flushed from the area of a small tree littered with what looked like junco feathers. Soon after an adult Bald Eagle flew over Dusaf Pond. As for waterfowl, the only open water was the Main Injector Moats. Looking for the swan in the main moat among the Canada Geese and Mallards, I found several each of Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. In addition, there were also a couple of American Coots in the moat. Later Gail came up with a female Red-breasted Merganser at this location. As I was about to give up on the swan, I saw it flying over the main moat, which is good news as this proves its ability to fly. NOTE: Recent photos show that the swan now in the Main Injector Moat is a Trumpeter Swan and not a Tundra Swan. We are trying to determine if this is the same bird we had in December from older pictures; most likely it is. At the time of the initial sighting and analysis there were thoughts that the swan may have been a hybrid of both species. Another very interesting sighting was a Yellow-rumped Warbler. This was probably one of the birds sighted during the Christmas Bird Count. Some of the other better birds found during the morning were Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, Northern Flicker, Horned Lark, American Robin, Fox Sparrow and Song Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, December 29

The weather early this morning was quite nice with very mild temps and very little wind. A check for sparrows in the lakes region was quite successful with good numbers of American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and a White-throated Sparrow. Waterfowl in open water areas were decent with Snow Geese (2-Wht. and 1-Blu), Canada Geese (over 6,000 in Main Ring Lake alone), a Trumpeter Swan (still in Main Injector Moat), American Black Ducks, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers. Interestingly, the pair of American Black Ducks must have thought that this brief warm-up was a sign of spring since we caught them copulating in Bulrush Pond. Another highlight was a lone American Coot in the Main Injector Moat. The North Roads were quiet except for a nice flock of a dozen or more Lapland Longspurs and a few Horned Larks. Dave

Sunday, December 22

Not too much happening bird-wise this morning at Fermilab. Snow, not wind or temperature, was the major factor affecting the land birds. Waterfowl were mostly concentrated on Main Ring Lake with approx. 5000 Canada Geese, some Mallards and several Common Goldeneye. Joining the Trumpeter Swan on the Main Injector Moats were several more Common Goldeneye and a Ring-necked Duck. Except for the typical winter sparrows ( Tree and Juncos) the only other birds of interest were several Horned Larks. Dave

Thursday, December 19

It was a great morning for birding at the Lab today. Temps were very mild but cool enough to keep the ground from becoming sloppy. In addition winds were almost nonexistent. The only area I covered with open water and waterfowl was Main Ring Lake having Canada Geese (approx. 2000), Mallards (approx. 50), American Black Ducks (2), Common Goldeneye (12), and Common Merganser (24). The Trumpeter Swan was all by itself on the Main Injector Moat. After having numerous sparrows along A.E. Sea during the CBC Saturday, I could only locate one small group having American Tree Sparrows (about 15), Song Sparrows (2) and Swamp Sparrows (3). I did locate another 6 or more Swamp Sparrows elsewhere, which is well above what would normally be expected this time of year. It was a great day for woodpeckers finding Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, and the bird of the day a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (now the latest sighting, previous latest was in the first week of December back in the early 2000's). Some other highlights were a Wilson's Snipe, a pair of Great Horned Owls, Blue Jays (they seem to be everywhere), an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins. Dave

Saturday, December 14

Christmas Bird Count - 2013: Note: Unless noted all references here are to birds found only within Fermilab and not the entire count circle (radius of 7.5 miles with Fermilab at the center). It was a very pretty day for the bird count. Temps were very mild with a light snow most of the day unlike last year when it rained all day and the temps were above freezing (pretty miserable conditions). Saturday's temps were in the high 20's keeping the ground frozen and the mud off the boots. The snow did seem to affect the birds somewhat and made the morning owling a failure. We ended up with 50 species for the day which is just about at the ten -year average of 50.6 species. Waterfowl numbers for the most part were lower than normal due to ice cover on most waters. The best of the waterfowl were two each Ring-necked Ducks and Bufflehead (only the 2nd Fermi CBC sighting). Other waterfowl of interest were American Black Duck (1, lowest in 13 years), Common Goldeneye (242, a respectable number), and Common Merganser (8, fairly low count). The number of Great Blue Herons (3) was well below the twenty-year average of 7.5. We did well on Raptors finding Northern Harrier (4), Sharp-shinned Hawk (3), Cooper's Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (8), Rough-legged Hawk (1), and American Kestrel (1). A respectable 3 Wilson's Snipe were found. The oddity of the day was a female Red-bellied Woodpecker with a yellow nape, looking just like a Golden-fronted Woodpecker but lacking the all-white rump. Some of the more common passerines were Northern Shrike (2), Blue Jay (23, highest in 10 yr), American Crow (1, still remain suppressed), Horned Lark (4), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), Brown Creeper (4, past 10 year Ave=2), Eastern Bluebird (7), Cedar Waxwing (46), Yellow-rumped Warbler (3, highest number at Fermi), Fox Sparrow (3), Swamp Sparrow (13, 20 yr Ave=3.8), Lapland Longspur (49, previous high=4), and Red-winged Blackbird (2). Finally, our two best birds of the day were firsts for the Lab's CBC. First was a Trumpeter Swan in the Main Injector Moat which had been around for a week. Then there was an American Pipit found near the Main Ring. I think a fun day was had by all. Dave

Monday, December 9

It was very cold and windy for a late afternoon/evening trip to Fermi today with not much to show for my efforts. My main objective was to scout owls for this weekend's Christmas Bird Count. No Short-eared Owls were found but I did contact an Eastern Screech-Owl (under terrible conditions). I did locate a flock of about 15 Horned Larks but not the longspurs found yesterday. The only other bird of interest was a female Bufflehead on Andy's Pond with a large flock of Canada Geese. This morning Peter relocated the Trumpeter Swan along with a Ring-necked Duck on the Main Injector Moat. Dave

Sunday, December 8

There was very little wind this morning but the below normal cold did affect the bird activity in some areas. That being said, we did have a couple of very good birds. First of all we had a Trumpeter Swan in the Main Injector Moat; hopefully it will stick around until next week's Christmas Bird Count. There were lots of Canada Geese around the Lab with the majority of these found in the fields as most bodies of water were again frozen over. Other than a good number of Mallards, the only other waterfowl found were several American Black Ducks and a Common Goldeneye. The other highlight was a good number of Lapland Longspurs associated with a flock of Horned Larks. At one time there were at least 30 longspurs on the road. Finally, Peter reported Sandhill Cranes still migrating over the Lab late in the week. Dave

Thursday, December 5

This morning was chilly and quite windy. However, after several warm days, most bodies of water were again open. Even though the lakes were open, there was very little diversity in the waterfowl. While at Lake Law, a couple thousand geese came in (all Canada Geese except for a couple of Cackling Geese). At Main Ring Lake I added several female Common Mergansers and, as I was leaving, a Greater White-fronted Goose was heard which eventually landed on the lake. Several more Greater White-fronted Geese were found on Lake Logo. All other birds found during the morning were either winter or year-round residents including a Northern Harrier. I got a note from Al he added a couple of fly-by Snow Geese, an American Black Duck and several Northern Shovelers. Dave

Sunday, December 1

It was a decent morning for birding on December 1st with partly cloudy skies, average temps and mild winds. There were large numbers of both Canada Geese and Mallards on the still, mostly frozen Lake Law. Other waterfowl seen there and other locations in very small numbers were Cackling Goose, American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye and Hooded Merganser. Most of our time was spent filling gaps in this week's bird list. Some of the birds found were Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Horned Lark, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Savannah Sparrow (this was the bird of the day due to its bright yellow head, a feature not seen before by any of us), and Song Sparrow. Also found in several large flocks of European Starlings were Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave

Sunday, November 24

COLD is about the only comment one can make about this morning's weather. There were several small holes in the ice but for the most part Lake Law was frozen over. There were three Snow Geese on this ice along with a good number of Canada Geese, Mallards and a few Cackling Geese. We again had several groups of sparrows with Fox Sparrows the only birds of note. No other birds of note were found. Dave

Friday, November 22

It was quite windy with close to normal temperatures and a small number of snowflakes. Waterfowl remain unremarkable with Canada Geese, Mallards (lots), American Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. The highlight of the morning was several Bonaparte's Gulls in and around Lake Law. There were several large groups of sparrows in various locations consisting mostly of the winter birds, American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Also included in small numbers were Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, November 17

It was mild and extremely windy this morning, with the wind having a major affect on the bird activity. In many locations birds were heard but could not be drawn out of their cover. The only waterfowl of mention were Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser. Sparrows were not much better. Besides the expected American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, we found Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow. Raptors were fairly well represented with Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel (2) and a Great Horned Owl. The bird(s) of the day were about a half dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers in Main Ring Woods. We also had a Hairy Woodpecker, several Northern Flickers and a nice flock of Cedar Waxwings all inside the Main Ring. Dave

Wednesday, November 13

It was quite cold this morning and the increasing winds negated the minimal temperature increase throughout the morning. Surprisingly, A.E. Sea was frozen enough to support my weight in some spots. We had a good run, but it appears that the shorebird season is just about over. The only shorebirds found were several Wilson's Snipe, while a couple of Killdeer were later found along Main Ring Road. Not much to list for waterfowl. Of note were Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser. Though not a lot of variety, there was a good quantity of sparrows with American Tree Sparrows (by far the most numerous, well over 100), Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (still a good number in the proper habitat), White-throated Sparrow (just one), and Dark-eyed Juncos. Some other birds of note were Cooper's Hawk, Northern Shrike, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Cedar Waxwing. The bird of the day was an adult Bald Eagle soaring over the village. But the highlight of the day was a Northern Harrier. It started with my viewing an American Coot through the scope on Main Ring Lake. Suddenly, a Northern Harrier appeared in my field of view; I then grabbed my binoculars to get a wider view. The harrier pounced at the coot but missed the diving bird. There were three coots in the area. Each time the harrier missed one of the diving coots the harrier would hover over the recent diver until the next coot surfaced. The harrier would then pounce at the closest coot, miss and hover again; this continued for about five minutes. Finally, one coot was too exhausted to get a breath and dive before the harrier could attack. The harrier grabbed the tired coot and sat on it keeping it below the water all the while keeping itself as much above the water as possible. The harrier would spread its wings regularly for lift to aid in its attempt to keep as dry as possible. The strong winds were a distinct advantage in the harrier's favor for this process. After about ten minutes the harrier easily lifted the now-drowned coot out of the water and flew to shore with its prize. What a great example of survival and failure in nature. Dave

Sunday, November 10

A brisk wind early this morning affected both birds and birders. Land birds were much more active on the leeward side of any habitat we birded. There was still a Dunlin and several Pectoral Sandpipers hanging around A.E. Sea. Waterfowl numbers were down some from Thursday. Found were Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, and Hooded Merganser. The other birds of interest for the morning were: Northern Harrier (Main Ring), Sharp-shinned Hawk (Garden Club), American Coot, Sandhill Crane (several small groups flying high over the Lab), Northern Shrike (west of L.Law), American Crow (oddly 4 found in Main Ring), Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Pipit (A.E. Sea), Fox Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow. On Friday Marcia and Gail added Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Savannah Sparrow, both needed for this week's list. Dave

Thursday, November 7

The morning started out bright and crisp, but as the morning progressed so did the wind and clouds. Early on only three shorebirds found were, two Dunlin and a Pectoral Sandpiper. More may have been in the shoreline vegetation but I never returned to investigate. Sparrow numbers were down another notch, as was their variety. Sparrows found were American Tree Sparrow (most numerous), Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. A.E. Sea had quite a few ducks but with little variety. Not having my scope I only found Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal on A.E. Sea. Waterfowl found elsewhere were Cackling Goose, Lesser Scaup and Hooded Merganser. On Monday, Al had Gadwall and American Wigeon, both needed for the week's list. Other birds found were Cooper's Hawk (this one put a crimp in the Garden Club sparrow population), Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (group of 7-8 birds) and American Pipit. Monday Al also added a Lapland Longspur also needed for the week while Peter added a Peregrine Falcon. Dave

Sunday, November 3

A beautiful, mostly sunny morning with a light fog early provided good birding conditions today. Other than the increasing number of Canada Geese, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal, waterfowl have not really shown much movement. Other species found in small numbers were Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup and Hooded Merganser. It was hide-and-seek with the shorebirds due to the high water and early ice forcing some birds into the vegetation. We had Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers walking on the ice early. Later in the morning Urs also found Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin and Long-billed Dowitcher. Sparrow activity has slowed but there still was a very late Le Conte's Sparrow. Also of note was a fair number of Fox Sparrows (most were singing or chipping). Some other sightings of note were Great Egret, Cooper's Hawk, American Coot, Horned Lark, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing and Common Grackle. In addition, Urs came up with a rare Franklin's Gull. Dave

Saturday, November 2

A quick trip to the Lab this morning to confirm the American Avocets for the first week in November, which is now the latest sighting for this species, was successful. Interestingly, of the two remaining Avocets one of these birds has an almost straight bill. The recent rains again filled A.E. Sea and greatly reduced the shorebird habitat. I was still able to find Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs (tied for latest sighting), Least Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper. There's still a fair number of sparrows in the Hedge area - I found only the typical fall migrants. Waterfowl were not too productive, although there were good numbers of both Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal (both in A.E. Sea), and a Hooded Merganser on Lake Law. Several of birds worth mentioning were Pied-billed Grebe (several L.Law), Great Egret and American Coot (Main Ring Lake), and finally a very vocal Marsh Wren in the reeds along the Lake Law berm (our first November sighting). Marsha and Gail also added some good birds needed for this week's list including Blue-winged Teal (tied for latest sighting), American Avocet (they had them Friday), Brown Thrasher and Eastern Towhee (both very late sightings), and Field Sparrow. Peter has also been reporting recent Peregrine Falcon sightings, again around Wilson Hall. Dave

Wednesday, October 30

It was mild, overcast, and windless this morning; the only negative was a light fog that somewhat limited visibility. Both shorebird and sparrow numbers were down from Sunday's trip to the Lab. There were still two American Avocets on A.E. Sea. Also found were Killdeer, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers and Dunlin. Only the commonly found sparrows of recent trips were found but in much smaller numbers. Other than a large group of Canada Geese on Lake Law, waterfowl were almost nonexistent. Only American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, and Hooded Mergansers were found. There was a large flock of Common Grackles on a power tower east of the Sea of Evanescence along with a couple of Rusty Blackbirds. The highlight of the morning was the first Northern Shrike of the season, it was calling several times. The only other birds of note were Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Dave

Monday, October 28

The American Avocets were again found today on A.E. Sea by Al. Also, shorebirds remain respectable with Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, and Wilson's Snipe. Other highlights included American Pipits (A.E. Sea), Le Conte's Sparrow and Purple Finch (first for the year). Dave

Sunday, October 27

Crisp and clear early then warming throughout the morning were the conditions this morning at Fermi. There was pretty decent diversity in the three major birds groups (waterfowl, shorebirds and sparrows). Waterfowl numbers are still low and, though diminishing, the numbers of shorebirds and sparrows are holding their own. Most of the reported waterfowl were found on Lake Law including Canada Geese, Gadwalls, American Black Duck, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. We also found Pied-billed Grebes and an American Coot. Early on there was not too much excitement with the shorebirds with Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin and Wilson's Snipe. Then late in the morning the American Avocets (3)( reported earlier in the week) showed up for great views on A.E. Sea. Though the sparrow numbers are again down slightly, the diversity was great including American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. To round out the morning's list of notable birds we found Great Egret, Cooper's Hawk, Eastern Bluebird, American Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Rusty Blackbird and Common Grackle. Dave

Wednesday, October 23

A crisp, frosty morning with a brisk NW wind did not seem to affect the birds around the Lab. Waterfowl, though the numbers are small, are starting to show increased species diversity. Found throughout the Lab were Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, and Ring-necked Duck. There is still a small group of Pied-billed Grebes on Lake Law. Most of A.E. Sea was iced over early, but there were still several shorebirds found including Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin (about 10) and from an open puddle at the north end around twenty Wilson's Snipe were flushed. Two pair of Sandhill Cranes were flushed from the Sea of Evanescence; most likely they had spent the night there. Also many of the same shorebirds were found here as listed for A.E. Sea. There were also two groups of American Pipits at A.E. Sea (5 and 7 birds). Sparrow activity continues to be quite strong with an Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (5-6 were found), Swamp Sparrows (still most numerous species), good numbers of both White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The highlight of the Sparrow Hedge area was a flyover Merlin (my favorite raptor). The Big Woods produced Hairy Woodpeckers, a Hermit Thrush and a Winter Wren. Other birds of note were Great Egret (2), Turkey Vulture (3), Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-rumped Warbler (only 2) and Common Grackle. Finally, Peter reported seeing an immature Peregrine Falcon flying around Wilson Hall yesterday. Dave

Sunday, October 20

Denis was out with his class today while Peter was covering other areas of the Lab. They found several highlight birds including a good number of Greater White-fronted Geese (Main Ring Lake) and a Snow Goose flying over with a group of Canada Geese. Shorebirds of note were Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Notable sparrows were Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow. Other birds of note were Gadwall, Turkey Vulture, American Coot, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler and Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave

Sunday, October 13

The morning again started out crisp and clear; very beautiful but with lots of dew on the vegetation. Most of our time was spent in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region with a short trip to the Garden Club. Along with the recently found Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and Green-winged Teal were Ring-necked Ducks and Ruddy Ducks. Also a number of Canada Geese were found in Lake Law along with a couple of Pied-billed Grebe. Shorebirds found were Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and a couple of Dunlin. A nice list of sparrows was accumulated with Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Le Conte's Sparrows (Denis' group), Nelson's Sparrows (Denis' group), Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows. Other highlights were Bald Eagle (immature), Bonaparte's Gull (two displaying an interesting, and apparent, insect -capturing flight just above the water's surface), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warblers (both of these in much smaller numbers than recent trips), Rusty Blackbird and Common Grackle. Dave

Thursday, October 10

Another beautiful morning - cool to start then warming to pleasantly mild temperatures. Sparrows remain the key group to watch. In the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region there were Eastern Towhees, Savannah Sparrows, Nelson's Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (3), Swamp Sparrows (again most numerous species), White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. In the Garden Club, Chipping Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco were added. Shorebirds continue to drop in numbers. Found were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Al added Dunlin and Stilt Sandpiper yesterday. No change in waterfowl with only Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and Green-winged Teal found. Besides the typical Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers, there was a flock of around a half dozen Tennessee Warblers. Other birds found were Northern Harrier (hunting the Sparrow Hedge area), Sora, Chimney Swift, Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Pipit, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting (it still had a blue tail), and Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave

Sunday, October 6

Very nice autumn morning for birding; started cloudy and ended up mostly clear. The entire morning was spent in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region. Last night's rain brought up the levels of A.E. Sea again while the shorebird numbers remain similar to the last week or so. We found Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Wilson's Snipe. No new waterfowl arrivals. Still finding Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Blue-winged Teal. Among the many Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers were several Common Yellowthroats and one Magnolia Warbler. Sparrows were the key group represented this morning. Found were Eastern Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow (most numerous), White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. In addition, we had several other interesting finds including Cooper's Hawk, Sora, Chimney Swift, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Dave

Thursday, October 3

The morning started out foggy with a light mist in the air. By mid-morning it was raining and by late morning the rain had stopped. I was greeted by what appeared to be a family of five Pied-billed Grebes on Lake Law. Through the fog, I saw several Tree Swallows over Lake Law and later a Barn Swallow by A.E. Sea. There were over a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers in the two, tall trees just north of the Lake Law drainage ditch to A.E. Sea. In addition, there were well over a dozen sparrows in the same trees including Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows (most numerous), and White-crowned Sparrows. These same species were extremely active throughout the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area. There was more activity today than I have seen in a long time in this area; birds were everywhere. Some other birds of note were Sora (about a dozen), Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Common Yellowthroat, Clay-colored Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Shorebirds found on A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Pectoral Sandpiper. Waterfowl are still slowly increasing in numbers. I found Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Green-winged Teal. I'm not sure if Al's American Wigeon was still around; the fog really limited visibility. Inside the Main Ring I had a Sharp-shinned Hawk and an American Kestrel in separate locations. Finally, inside the Ring during the rain I found a large flock of Red-winged Blackbirds containing mostly females and juveniles; with only a few adult males. Interestingly, there were well over a thousand birds in this flock and the only other species I spotted was two Brown-headed Cowbirds. Dave

Wednesday, October 2

Some needed birds were checked off the list today by Al, Marcia and Gail. Al found the first American Wigeon of the fall migration season and a Semipalmated Sandpiper at A.E. Sea. In addition, the pesky Peregrine Falcon kept flushing the shorebirds during his observations. I guess one of the local Cooper's Hawks also caused similar disruptions. Marcia and Gail also did really well by adding Pied-billed Grebe, Green Heron, Sedge Wren, Swainson's Thrush, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Historically, these are all nearing the end of their time at Fermi. They also had a Tennessee Warbler. Dave

Sunday, September 29

This morning, Fermi was clear and refreshingly cool while the grounds were a little damp from the overnight rain. We spent most of the morning in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region where there was quite a bit of activity. Shorebird numbers dropped slightly from Friday. We found Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper. Waterfowl included Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Palm Warblers were everywhere as were Yellow-rumped Warblers but to a lesser degree. Several Nashville Warblers were also found. Sparrows continue to increase in numbers. Included were Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Several other birds of note were Sora, Philadelphia Vireo, Marsh Wren (quite a few singing), Tree Swallow, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Meadowlark (edge of Dog Fields). Denis' group added American Crow, Barn Swallow, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Rusty Blackbird and the first Nelson's Sparrow of the year. Finally, Peter mentioned that he had an American Woodcock on Thursday evening leaving work. Dave

Friday, September 27

Clear skies and mild winds made for great birding conditions this morning. A fair amount of shorebirds remain and this morning most were at A.E. Sea. I found Killdeer (lots), Greater Yellowlegs (only one), Lesser Yellowlegs (lots), Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper (one). A walk around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes area produced some interesting sightings. Warblers are well past their peak with only a single Nashville Warbler, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, many Palm Warblers and several Common Yellowthroats. On the other hand the sparrow migration is ramping up. The walk along the Lake Law berm produced 15-20 Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows. Other sparrows found were Lincoln's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (a good number), and White-crowned Sparrow (in a different location). An immature Bald Eagle was patrolling the south end of A.E. Sea during my walk down. When I got to the south end of A.E. Sea there was an American Kestrel perched atop the tallest dead tree along with some Blue Jays and Northern Flickers. Soon a Sharp-shinned Hawk dove at the kestrel and took its spot on the tree. The kestrel circled around and took back its original position on the tree. This cycle repeated for 10-15 minutes with occasional dives at a Blue Jay or Northern Flicker thrown in. Eventually, each raptor went their separate way. Other birds found in the area were Blue-winged Teal, Chimney Swift, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Found in other locations were Sora, Marsh Wren, and Swainson's Thrush. Also, Denis had an immature Peregrine Falcon circling Wilson Hall yesterday. Dave

Thursday, September 26

I have been gone for several weeks but I'll try to give a brief review of what has been seen while I've been gone (at least what sightings have been given to me). First, in a nutshell, shorebirds continued to be a major highlight until just recently. The warbler migration, however, was poor around the Lab. Most of the typical shorebirds (see previous listings) were being seen during the first half of the month with diminishing numbers. Highlight shorebirds found were Black-bellied Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I didn't receive too many reports of warbler sightings. What was reported were Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, American Redstart, Mourning Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler and more recently the Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers have dominated. Marcia and Gail found a Snow Goose on Main Ring Lake (Sept. 14) which was the earliest fall sighting we've ever had. Some of the other highlight birds were a Northern Pintail, a Peregrine Falcon, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (still being seen), Swainson's Thrush (fair number reported), an American Pipit, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and a late Dickcissel. In addition to Marcia and Gail, I'd like to thank Al Stokie, Denis and Peter for their input. Dave

Sunday, September 1

Early morning fog made effective birding almost impossible. After a stop for donuts, conditions started to improve. Nonetheless, it took some time for the fog to completely clear out. It's still shorebirds that were the morning's focus. Yesterday's rains again raised the levels of A.E. Sea and DUSAF and allowed the shorebirds more foraging area. We found Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Other birds around the Lakes were Wood Duck, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Cooper's Hawk, Sora (very good numbers), Herring Gull, Marsh Wren and Savannah Sparrow. Passerine migrants were quite limited with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the greatest number. Other migrants found were Philadelphia Vireo(1), Red-eyed Vireo (2), Tennessee Warbler (3), and Swainson's Thrush (1) all in the Garden Club and Big Woods area. Willow Flycatcher and Cedar Waxwing were also found on the west side of the Big Woods. Denis and some other birders also added Peregrine Falcon (1-adult and 1-Juv) and Caspian Tern after I went to the Big Woods. Dave

Friday, August 30

I was not around during the week but some sightings of note that were required for the week's list were a Black-bellied Plover (Al Stokie), a Black-crowned Night-Heron (Marcia and Gail), and an immature Peregrine Falcon (Peter near Wilson Hall). It's a good possibility that this was the same Peregrine we had seen last week. Dave

Friday, August 23

Yesterday's rains replenished a considerable amount of shorebird habitat to both A.E. Sea and DUSAF Pond after the long, dry up period. Shorebird numbers were still down with no remarkable birds found only Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper. While viewing shorebirds on DUSAF they suddenly began to flush. What I first thought was one of the Cooper's Hawks seen regularly in the area turned out to be a juvenile Peregrine Falcon. After flushing every bird on DUSAF, it headed down the channel toward A.E. Sea. Soon after I hooked up with Ryan of Facilities Engineering and two of his interns Elise and Zack. We walked down to the Sparrow Hedge and, after finding a lone Tennessee Warbler, spotted the Peregrine on a dead tree at the south end of A.E. Sea. We had great looks at the bird through the scope. We did not find the Black Tern reported on Thursday by Gail. Unfortunately, no other warblers were found throughout the morning and most locations were quite quiet. Some of the highlight birds found in various locations were Wood Duck (Fem and 4 young), Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron (adult - DUSAF), Caspian Tern, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Eastern Phoebe (both singing), Red-eyed Vireo, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Indigo Bunting, and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, August 18

A nice, cool morning greeted us but warmed as the day progressed; more than on other recent visits. Shorebirds still remain the highlight, but both A.E. Sea and DUSAF are drying up rapidly. The only water remaining at A.E. Sea is at its south end. Many of the same shorebirds are still present with the two highlights being a Black-bellied Plover and one or two Stilt Sandpipers. We could not relocate the Red-necked Phalarope, but birds have typically been moving around throughout the day and may still be around. The highlight bird of the morning was a Cape May Warbler, our first warbler of this fall's migration season. There were two other birds accompanying the Cape May, but they flew off before we could get on them. No other warblers were found the rest of the morning. Overall the morning was very quiet. The only other birds of note were Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, Bank Swallow, Tree Swallow and Barn Swallow. Dave

Friday, August 16

Weather continued to be very pleasant for birding. I was with both Elise and Ellen, interns at the Lab. They will be returning to school soon. We started out in the Sparrow Hedge area which was very quiet as was most of the Lab this morning. Not much was found in this area other than Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, American Crow, Eastern Towhee (one of only a few birds that were singing) and Indigo Bunting. A.E. Sea and later DUSAF produced Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and a Red-necked Phalarope (this bird was found earlier in the week and confirmed this morning). Several Caspian Terns and a Herring Gull rounded out the water birds of note although there are still large numbers of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons wading the waters. There was an Osprey on Nest 2 by Nepese but no way to determine its origin. We found a family of young Dickcissels and several singing males. We heard no Henslow's Sparrows but did find several Sedge Wrens still singing. Dave

Sunday, August 11

Weather again this morning was beautiful for birding; cool to start and partly cloudy with minimal wind. Shorebirds on A.E. Sea and DUSAF remain similar to the last report with Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher. There were large numbers of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets in A.E. Sea and an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron at DUSAF. We also had at least five Green Herons around Lake Logo (inside the Main Ring). Other birds found around the lakes were Pied-billed Grebe (L.Law), Blue-winged Teal, Bald Eagle (in trees SW corner of A.E. Sea), Caspian Tern and Purple Martin (several). Overall swallow numbers have been down over the last week. Other birds found in the Lakes-Sparrow Hedge area were Cooper's Hawk (a couple of young birds), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee (a couple of young birds), and Baltimore Oriole. Just a few birds found in other areas were Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Marsh Wren and Indigo Bunting. Dave

Friday, August 9

It was another great morning for birding with another Fermi intern, Ellen. We found a much smaller number of shorebirds than have been found over the last several weeks even though the variety was still quite good. Species seen were Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper. Other birds found in the A.E. Sea-DUSAF area were Black-crowned Night-Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Herring Gull and Caspian Tern. In general all other habitats were much quieter than in recent visits. Although found in reduced numbers, Henslow's Sparrows and Sedge Wrens were still singing. Some other birds of interest were Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Willow Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird (a good number of young birds), Cedar Waxwing, Dickcissel, and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, August 4

A picture perfect morning (although gnats and mosquitoes were a minor irritation) provided good conditions for both the birds and birders. Not many changes in the birds found from those over the last few visits. The shorebirds found between A.E. Sea and DUSAF were Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper (numbers increasing), Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper (in good numbers). Other water birds found were the typical (lately) Caspian Terns, Wood Duck (two separate families), Blue-winged Teal, and Northern Shoveler. Other birds found around the lakes were a young Cooper's Hawk, Willow Flycatchers, American Crow, Yellow Warblers (in several locations), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, and a young Brown-headed Cowbird being fed by a Song Sparrow. Though the bugs kept us from penetrating the Big Woods, we did have some luck walking some of its perimeter. The adjacent grasslands had singing Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows, and Dickcissels. On the edge and inside the woods we had Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Indigo Bunting and, the bird of the day, another singing Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Dave

Thursday, August 1

Another pleasant morning for birding greeted Calvin, another summer intern, and myself. No new arrival shorebirds; all species seen were found over the last few weeks on and off. We found Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Short-billed Dowitcher. Still found in the Lakes area were Caspian Terns (and other ponds around the Lab) and Wood Ducks. The major players in the grasslands were Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows, and Dickcissels. These were all found in multiple areas. Swallow numbers and variety were considerably down from what we found on Sunday. We did find several flycatchers including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. Dave

Sunday, July 28

It was downright cool this morning and so pleasant that we were able to do a loop of the Big Woods. Unfortunately, there was not much to be found in the woods. The shorebird habitat remains excellent at both A.E. Sea and DUSAF. Unfortunately, A.E. Sea is starting to get quite grown over and birds are seeking cover in some of this plant life. Also, birds are moving in and out of the area so numbers and variety change regularly. The birds we found were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper. There still were a good number of Caspian Terns around A.E. Sea along with several Wood Ducks. Willow Flycatchers were still heard singing in several spots. A female Northern Shoveler was also found on DUSAF. One highlight of the morning were the number and especially the variety of swallows in this area. We found good numbers of , in descending order, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, Cliff Swallows, Bank Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and one Purple Martin. Henslow's Sparrows were still quite active in several locations. Found singing in the Big Woods were Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Cedar Waxwing. Also found elsewhere were Green Heron, American Crow, and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Thursday, July 25

Conditions were great today in the Lab with mild temps, mild winds and partly cloudy skies. Elise, one of the Fermi summer interns, was along for the ride this morning. A.E. Sea and DUSAF remain great shorebird locations although nothing exciting was found. There were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and at least one Stilt Sandpiper. Several Caspian Terns were still around along with a Herring Gull. A young Coopers Hawk was flushed from a pine tree not too far from the Garden Club nest site. Several grasslands still had reasonable activity with some singing Sedge Wrens, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, and Dickcissels (still quite a few of these around). A couple of Eastern Meadowlarks and a lone female Bobolink were also found. The three young Ospreys fledged from Nest 1 and were flying around the nest area along with both parents; it reminded me of a beehive with all five birds flying around, occasionally landing then taking off again. Interestingly, we also found an adult Osprey on Nest 2. Since we found this soon after being at the Nest 1 site, I'm pretty sure this was not one of the Nest 1 birds. Not too much else was found other than a singing Willow Flycatcher, a Cedar Waxwing, a Vesper Sparrow, several Indigo Buntings and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, July 21

It was warm this morning, still a considerable improvement from hot weather conditions of the past week. Water levels remain at a very good level for shorebirds and their viewing in both A.E. Sea and DUSAF. Birds found in this area by Peter, a group of local birders, and I were Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Short-billed Dowitcher. We had at least eleven Caspian Terns in the Lakes Region and again found the Yellow-breasted Chat still singing, in a very subdued manner, in the Sparrow Hedge area. Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows were singing in a couple of locations while Dickcissels were still singing in many locations. A seldom visited group of small woodlots on the west side of the Lab produced only the second Red-headed Woodpecker for the year along with a Hairy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Northern Flicker. Also found in this area was the bird of the day, a surprise Yellow-billed Cuckoo. American Kestrels, an American Crow and Vesper Sparrow rounded out the morning's birding. Dave

Wednesday, July 17

The hot, humid, breezeless conditions did not affect the birds near as much as the birders this morning. The shorebirds on A.E. Sea and DUSAF remain similar to my last visit with Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Stilt Sandpiper. There were still large numbers of Great Blue Herons, quite a few Great Egrets, several Caspian Terns and a flyover Wood Duck. In the Hedge area Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Towhees and Baltimore Orioles were singing away. I missed the Chat but did find a Bell's Vireo which had not been too vocal this season. All five Ospreys associated with Nest 1 were present and doing well. The American Kestrel family along East Wilson was still active, not sure where they came from. The rest of the morning was used to fill gaps in the Fermi Bird List for the week. Highlight birds found were Green Heron, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Purple Martin (Female-DUSAF), Sedge Wren singing (South Eola), Cedar Waxwing, Vesper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel (still singing everywhere), Bobolink, and Eastern Meadowlark. In addition, Marcia and Gail found a Great Crested Flycatcher and an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron (along the DUSAF shoreline), only the first for the year. Also, Peter later added Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Forster's Tern. Dave

Sunday, July 14

The waters are again receding on both DUSAF Pond and A.E. Sea thus providing good shorebird habitat and viewing. Found were good numbers of Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers plus a Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (about a dozen), Least Sandpipers (over 20), Pectoral Sandpipers, and two Stilt Sandpipers. Large numbers of Great Blue Herons and several Great Egrets remain dispersed around the lakes. Two adult and one juvenile Caspian Terns were on A.E. Sea, while Peter had ten of these terns yesterday in the same location. Other birds of note were American Kestrels (7), Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-breasted Chat (still singing across from Sparrow Hedge), Vesper Sparrow, and Dickcissels (still singing in many locations). Dave

Thursday, July 11

After the recent hot weather, today's early morning chill was a pleasant surprise. A post breeding survey produced a good number of Henslow's Sparrows in two different locations. There was also a good concentration of a few Bobolink family groups inside the Main Injector and Dickcissels were still singing in many locations. On the downside, no Grasshopper Sparrows were found and only four Sedge Wrens were found in one location. Recent rains raised the level of both A.E. Sea and DUSAF to put a real damper on shorebirding with only several each of Killdeers, Spotted Sandpipers, and Least Sandpipers found. Although there were five Caspian Terns and two Herring Gulls at A.E. Sea and the Greater Scaup was still on DUSAF. The female Osprey and three chicks were feeding on a fish at Nest 1 as the male watched from nearby. There was a family of at least four American Kestrels working East Wilson Rd. The bird of the day was a Peregrine Falcon interacting with a Red-tailed Hawk southwest of the Garden Club. Some of the other birds of interest found throughout the morning were Green Heron (2 - flying over M.Injector), Great Horned Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, American Crow (a surprising 5 found on the east side), Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Savannah Sparrow, and Indigo Bunting. Dave

Sunday, July 7

There were even more Killdeer and Least Sandpipers at A.E. Sea than on Friday. In addition, some other recent new arrivals found were Lesser Yellowlegs (A.E. Sea), Solitary Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper (both found in DUSAF Pond). A Stilt Sandpiper was also reported earlier in the week. A Caspian Tern was again found in the area. All of the swallows were found over the lakes, listed in order of abundance Tree Swallow (by far the most abundant), Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow and Cliff Swallow. Other birds found in the Lakes-Sparrow Hedge area were Wood Duck, American Crow (3), Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-breasted Chat (still singing) and a singing Swamp Sparrow. Grasslands produced singing Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels. In addition, a couple of juvenile Eastern Meadowlarks were flushed. Both Horned Lark and Vesper Sparrow were found in the north roads area. Dave

Friday, July 5

It was another very nice but slightly warmer morning for birding in the Lab. Many of the same birds were found in and around A.E. Sea including Killdeer (lots), Least Sandpipers (over 30), Double-crested Cormorants (around 25), a few Spotted Sandpipers, about a half dozen Great Egrets, and a pair of Caspian Terns. Also, several Marsh Wrens were still singing along the south shore of Lake Law. Some of my time was spent trying to fill gaps in our confirmed breeding species for the current survey period. I was lucky to find a twofer when I watched a young Brown-headed Cowbird being fed by a much smaller Yellow Warbler. The Greater Scaup was again dabbling around DUSAF Pond among a group of Mallards. The female Osprey was perched on the edge of nest 2. After awhile a call came from a distance and the nest bird responded. Soon after the male landed and handed over a fish. The female flew up to the top perch with the catch and started to eat. A little later the female dropped down to the nest and the two birds shared the meal. It appears these birds are very loyal to this nest and it is hoped that they will return next year to attempt another breeding. At nest 1, I again found the female Osprey shading her young with her wing. I was finally able to confirm the three chicks reported last week. There were two separate instances of Eastern Meadowlarks carrying food and flying into a possible nest area along Eola Rd. The female Kestrel was atop the nest box at the end of Swenson Rd. while the male was found further around the outside of the Main Ring. This was one of the few weeks that there was a gap in the Great Horned Owl records for this period. After trying several locations I was finally able to fill it. Some of the other birds found were Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Indigo Bunting, Henslow's Sparrow, and Dickcissel. Also, a Belted Kingfisher was reported in the Main Injector area on Wednesday by other monitors. Dave

Sunday, June 30

Birding was very good in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area this morning despite being fairly windy. The temps were perfect for the season. The morning started out with over thirty Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper seen from the road in the far north end of A.E. Sea. Many more of both were found further down A.E. Sea. These were joined by our first southward migrants; about a dozen Least Sandpipers. An American White Pelican was also found resting on a flat in A.E. Sea while a pair of Caspian Terns were fishing in Lake Law. A good number of Cedar Waxwings were hawking insects over A.E. Sea among a large group of Swallows (including a Bank Swallow found by Denis' group). The Yellow-breasted Chat was still singing along the Sparrow Hedge, while a Bell's Vireo reluctantly gave a few calls nearby. The appearance of juvenile House Wrens and Willow Flycatchers confirmed breeding for both these species. Other birds of interest in this area were Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Brown Thrasher, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Orchard Oriole, and Baltimore Oriole. The Greater Scaup was again among a group of Mallards in DUSAF Pond. One of the Ospreys was feeding on a fish on the perch above Nest 2 but their breeding efforts still appear to be a failure. Along East Wilson Road we found a pair of American Kestrels and a couple of Vesper Sparrows. Dave

Thursday, June 27

An early morning start to a grassland, breeding bird survey was met with great conditions of minimal winds and mild temps. Some of the target species were well represented including Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. Others were not so well represented including Sedge Wren (3), Savannah Sparrow (4), and Grasshopper Sparrow (1). The Greater Scaup seen over the last week was again spotted. In addition, the American White Pelicans (8) seen earlier in the week were found flying in formation southwest from the Lake Law area. There was movement in Osprey nest 1 as the parents watched from a nearby power pole but I could not determine the quantity of chicks. Unfortunately, it appears that nest 2 is a failure. There has only been minimal activity around it recently. The Cooper's Hawk nest had two fluffy chicks standing on its rim. Some of the other birds found during the morning were Willow Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Horned Lark, Purple Martin, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing and Indigo Buntings (in good numbers). Dave

Monday, June 24

Peter confirmed a report of American White Pelicans in the Lab this morning. He found about a half a dozen roosting on A.E. Sea. This our first summer sighting of pelicans on site. Dave

Sunday, June 23

It was cloudy, moderately windy and quite warm but it did not appear that these factors had much affect on the birds. Grassland sparrows were quite inactive with only a few Henslow's Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows found; other grassland birds were a little more active. The Sparrow Hedge area produced an American Kestrel, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, and a Yellow-breasted Chat who was reluctantly singing. The Greater Scaup found by Peter last Sunday was still in DUSAF Pond. It was joined by several Purple Martins. It appeared that there were young in the Cooper's Hawk nest but the view was obstructed. Again, the female Osprey on nest 1 was shielding apparent young with the male nearby. The activity at Osprey nest 2 was a little more confusing with the female standing on the nest edge in the beginning then flying off only to return a while later. Other birds of interest included a Caspian Tern, Green Heron, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and singing Horned Larks. Dave

Tuesday, June 11

Warm temps, mild winds and partly cloudy skies produced perfect conditions for a Breeding Bird Survey at the Lab this morning. All the major grassland targets were found including Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlarks. The Pied-billed Grebe in its breeding area was found carrying food. The female Cooper's Hawk was still on her nest. It appears the Ospreys in nest 1 inside the Main Injector have hatched. I did not actually see the chicks but the female Osprey appeared to be tending chicks and even shielding them from the sun with her wing. The female Osprey was still brooding on nest 2. The female American Kestrel was atop the nest box at the end of Swenson Road. A Northern Flicker was found in a nest hole at the edge of the Big Woods. The final breeding indicator was the Yellow-breasted Chat still singing away on the edge of the Main Ring Savanna. Other birds of interest were: Green Herons (2); a pair of Blue-winged Teal; Several Spotted Sandpipers; Singing Eastern Wood-Pewees, Willow Flycatchers, and Great Crested Flycatchers; Marsh Wrens; Indigo Buntings; and Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Sunday, June 9

Denis had a class at the Lab this morning and said for the most part birding was slow. Although they did have several notable sightings including an American Woodcock in the Sparrow Hedge area, a Caspian Tern near A.E. Sea, and the probably the same singing Yellow-breasted Chat in the Main Ring Savanna. Dave

Sunday, June 2

It was cloudy, windy, and cool this morning; not sure if the weather was the cause but birding was quite slow. The only birds of note in the Sparrow Hedge-Lakes region were a Spotted Sandpiper, a Caspian Tern, a Belted Kingfisher and a Yellow-breasted Chat singing reluctantly. The female Osprey was still brooding in the Injector-area nest with the male perched on the nest's edge. It appeared he had just dropped off breakfast. Birds found throughout the remainder of the morning were Several Wood Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe, a Great Horned Owl, a second singing Yellow-breasted Chat (Main Ring Woods), several Henslow's Sparrows and several Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Thursday, May 30

The majority of this morning's birding was devoted to a preseason breeding bird survey. Since this was a grassland survey, the moderately strong winds did have some effect. Much of the effect was in hearing the songs of some of the grassland sparrows. Throughout some of the survey points, there was a good mix of key species including Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. All four Ospreys were in place with the females still on their nests. The Cooper's Hawk nest near the Garden Club was also still occupied. The Pied-billed Grebe was also still in its nesting area. The remaining birds of interest were a Turkey Vulture, an American Kestrel (near Buffalo Feeder nest box), a Great Horned Owl, Marsh Wrens (several locations), and a singing Yellow-breasted Chat (again at the northwest corner of Main Ring Woods-E). Dave

Sunday, May 26

It was another cool day with light winds early which did not bother the birds. A.E. Sea's level is again lowering to reveal more shoreline. Though this did not produce any interesting shorebirds, a Bonaparte's Gull was found near the Lake Law discharge channel. Unfortunately, as we watched the bird, a coyote ran along the shore nearby and flushed the gull. It appeared to fly offsite toward the southeast. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge Area were Spotted Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lincoln's Sparrow, and both Orchard Orioles and Baltimore Orioles. A couple of Caspian Terns were flying inside the Main Ring. Other birds of interest in the Main Ring area were Hooded Merganser (confirmed an earlier report of a female with seven chicks), another Yellow-breasted Chat (singing), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a Dickcissel (first of the year). Both female Ospreys were on their nests with the males nearby. Also found, were a Pied-billed Grebe, Sora, Herring Gull, and American Crow. Additional birds reported on Friday were a Turkey Vulture, a Sandhill Crane, Chimney Swifts (first for the year), and a Warbling Vireo. Dave

Friday, May 24

We had nice cool weather with minimal winds for evening birding today. To start with the recent rains brought up the water level on A.E. Sea to eliminate it as a viable shorebird target. The only shorebird of mention was a Black-bellied Plover in full breeding plumage near Swenson Road. Blue-winged Teal were found in several locations as were Wood Ducks. A quick look for warblers in several locations produced only a Magnolia Warbler and an American Redstart. The first two Common Nighthawks of the year were found near Lake Law. Finally, both a Great Horned Owl and Eastern Screech-Owl were found. Dave

Sunday, May 19

The weather did not have any effect on the morning's birding today, but the mosquitoes made it uncomfortable at times. The warbler and sparrow numbers have crashed from the last several visits. The only warbler found was a Black-and-white Warbler and the only sparrows were a Henslow's and a fair number of Savannah Sparrows. Shorebirds were down to a Dunlin, several Least Sandpipers, and a couple of Semipalmated Plovers; all on A.E. Sea. New summer arrivals were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (probably last year's breeder in the same perching tree), a couple of Bell's Vireos (Sparrow Hedge area), and Marsh Wrens (several locations). The day's highlights were flycatchers including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, and Great Crested Flycatcher. Other birds of note were several Blue-winged Teal (all males), American Crow (on the west side this time), and Scarlet Tanagers (singing in the Big Woods). Dave

Thursday, May 16

The weather was just about perfect for a morning of birding in the Lab. The waters of A.E. Sea are at a great level for shorebirds. Found there were Killdeer (including 1-Juv), Semipalmated Plovers (8), Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Wilson's Phalarope. Both Willow Flycatchers and Eastern Wood-Pewees were new arrivals and singing in the Sparrow hedge area. Sparrows in the area were dominated by White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows; others were Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Remaining birds of interest in this area were Ruddy Duck (L. Law), Green Heron, Least Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Orchard Oriole. Warblers found elsewhere (to total 14) were Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and Hooded Warbler. Fourteen species does not really tell the story because they remain extremely sparse with American Redstarts being the most numerous species. Other birds of note in the Lab were Greater Yellowlegs, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Veery, Swainson's Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Tuesday, May 14

During an otherwise pleasant morning, the winds again dictated birding locations, especially since the main target was warblers. The first bird of the day was the best bird of the day; it was not a warbler but a Willet. It was on A.E. Sea seen initially from Batavia Rd. though it did move around the lake somewhat. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge-Lakes Region were Gadwall (pr.), Spotted Sandpiper, Caspian Tern (up to 6 at one time), Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. There were no warblers other than the expected Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. Peter later added Greater Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper and Herring Gull, while looking for the Willet. A total of thirteen Warblers were found in several locations. The additional ones were Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Northern Waterthrush. Again, there were not a lot of warblers. On a positive note, the Palm Warblers outnumbered all others by far, which should mean there are still more warblers to come. Both Osprey nests are still occupied as was the first Cooper's Hawk nest with the male nearby. The owlets have fledged from the Village nest and at the other remaining nest one of the adults had just dropped off some prey and the owlet was busy feeding back inside the nest. Some other birds of interest were Wood Ducks, Lesser Yellowlegs (Swenson Rd.), Least Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, May 12

Strong winds continue to be the major factor affecting the birds, therefore we limited most of our birding to the woods and leeward edges. We did OK with warblers finding 15 species, but most were one's and two's. We also had to search many locations to come up with this total. The warblers found were: Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and Yellow-breasted Chat. There was a nice mix of vireos including: Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, and Red-eyed Vireo. The only sparrows of interest were the first Lincoln's Sparrow of the year and several White-throated Sparrow. The strangest sighting of the morning was six brilliant Scarlet Tanagers feeding on a green lawn along Receiving Rd. More Scarlet Tanagers were found in several other locations as well. Several other birds of interest for the morning were Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson's Thrush, Indigo Bunting, and Baltimore Oriole. We also found a Blue Jay on a nest in the Sparrow Hedge Area. The bird of the day has to be a Blue Grosbeak. We're assuming this bird was part of the family that was raised on Lab grounds last year. Dave

Friday, May 10

It was cool, cloudy and windy this morning. The wind only affected birds on the northern edges. The Lakes-Sparrow Hedge Area was quite productive early on. A.E. Sea produced a nice mix with Blue-winged Teal, Black-bellied Plover (3), Short-billed Dowitcher (3), Caspian Tern (3) and Forster's Tern (12). The Sparrow Hedge itself produced Least Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. To round out the dozen warbler species found today in the Lab (in various locations) were Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula (two again), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, and Northern Waterthrush. Actually a dozen warblers is not great for the second week of May, and the overall quantity of warblers was also quite low. The only migrant sparrows found were several White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of note were Eastern Kingbird, Swainson's Thrush, Scarlet Tanager (another pair), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Orchard Oriole and Baltimore Oriole. Finally, a Wild Turkey was reported by a Lab employee near the Pine St. Entrance. Dave

Tuesday, May 7

The weather was just about perfect with mild temps to start and then warming slightly. Winds were also very mild. Unfortunately, this did not produce many interesting birds. The only birds of interest in the Sparrow Hedge Area were a Pied-billed Grebe, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, several White-throated Sparrows and a Bobolink. The Ed Center Area produced several Wood Ducks, Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (many other locations also), Palm Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Also here, the Cooper's Hawk nest found during Saturday's SBC was reconfirmed. Several Lesser Yellowlegs were in the Swenson Rd. flooded horse field. The male American Kestrel was hunting nearby, then perched atop the nest box at the end of Swenson Rd. I had only one viable group of warblers all morning. This was in Kautz Rd. Woods. There was a about a dozen of Yellow-rumped Warblers and two each of Nashville Warblers and Northern Parulas. Also in these woods were Great Crested Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, and Baltimore Oriole. Northern Waterthrushes were found in several locations. A pair of Sandhill Cranes were flying around the southeast quadrant of the Main Ring; not sure if they were ever on the ground. The only bird of interest in the Big Woods was a stunning Scarlet Tanager that glowed in a shaft of sunlight while a female foraged nearby. Dave

Sunday, May 5

We had a great Spring Count this morning; the weather was a big positive factor with mild temps and cloudy skies turning partly cloudy later in the day. The winds were minimal in the morning but picked up in the afternoon and did affect the open birding areas. A couple American Wigeon and a Hooded Merganser highlighted the waterfowl and were joined by Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Ruddy Duck. Pied-billed Grebes appear to be nesting and the first Green Herons were found. Hawks were well represented with Turkey Vultures, Ospreys (2 pr due to the nests), a Bald Eagle, Northern Harriers (3), Sharp-shinned Hawk (migrating), Cooper's Hawks (including 2 nests), Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels. Six Soras and an American Coot represented the Gruiformes. There was a moderate variety in the shorebirds, but there were some good numbers including Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (15), Lesser Yellowlegs (88), Solitary Sandpiper (23), Spotted Sandpipers, Wilson's Snipe (25), American Woodcock (8), a Wilson's Phalarope, and a Stilt Sandpiper. After striking out on screech-owls, we found three Great Horned Owls and a Barred Owl. A lone Red-headed Woodpecker highlighted this family. Flycatchers are starting to arrive. Seen were Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. Vireos found were Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo and several Warbling Vireos. Horned Larks were singing in the fields. Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows and Barn Swallows were found throughout the Lab. Several Ruby-crowned Kinglets were found and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were in many locations. Thrushes were well represented with Eastern Bluebirds, Veerys, a Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrushes and American Robins being found. Gray Catbirds and Brown Thrashers were singing in some locations. Warblers were a disappointment with only 10 species including Nashville Warbler (2), Yellow Warbler (11), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), Yellow-rumped Warbler (35), Blackburnian Warbler (2), Palm Warbler (73), Black-and-white Warbler (2), American Redstart (2), Northern Waterthrush (5), and Common Yellowthroat (7). We missed a few sparrows but did well with Eastern Towhee (4), Chipping Sparrow (4), Clay-colored Sparrow (3 text book specimens in the Garden Club), Field Sparrows (9), Savannah Sparrows (12), Henslow's Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (15), Swamp Sparrow (10), and White-throated Sparrow. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was singing in a thicket and a female Indigo Bunting were also found. Also, from the grasslands were Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks (24). Finally, the first Baltimore Orioles (6) were found. When all is said and done we did quite well with 102 species, well above our pre-count expectations. Dave

Thursday, May 2

It was cooler this morning but the only factor affecting the birds were the winds in the open areas. Just about all of the waterfowl of interest have moved on with only Wood Ducks (over a dozen in the Big Woods) and several Blue-winged Teal found. Most of the flooded fields have drained leaving only several Solitary Sandpipers and a lone Lesser Yellowlegs. Sparrow numbers remain low with moderate diversity. Found were Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow (a surprisingly late first of the year). The female Cooper's Hawk has settled into the nest in the Garden Club area. Likewise, the female Osprey was sitting on nest 1 (Main Inj.). Nest 2 (Nepese) still appears to be a work-in-progress. Both Yellow-rumped Warbler and Palm Warbler numbers have increased. The other warblers found were Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, a couple of Northern Waterthrush and a Louisiana Waterthrush. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have moved into several locations around the Lab. About a dozen Blue Jays were working the Sparrow Hedge area. Some new birds for the year were House Wrens (many locations), Hermit Thrush (Big Woods), Gray Catbird (Sparrow Hedge), and a Bobolink on the Lake Law Berm. Dave

Sunday, April 28

It was another pleasant morning of birding with mild temps, cloudy skies and, most importantly, almost no wind. Waterfowl remained fairly consistent over the past week with several Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks, many Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, several Ring-necked Ducks, several Lesser Scaup, and Ruddy Ducks. The bird of the day was an American Bittern found along the south shore of Lake Law. The remaining water birds were Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, and several Caspian Terns. Shorebirds have improved over the last several days with Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, a Pectoral Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalaropes (across Batavia Rd. from buffalo fields) and Wilson's Snipes (winnowing inside the Main Ring). Sparrows also have remained consistent with Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and White-throated Sparrows. The Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers have been joined by new arrival Yellow Warblers (several locations) and a lone Pine Warbler (Big Woods). Other birds found were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, singing Brown Thrashers (several locations) and singing Eastern Towhees. Denis added a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (new for the year and only a week late) and another three Pine Warblers, these in the Garden Club. Dave

Wednesday, April 24

It was again a cool start to the morning, but the calm winds provided pleasant conditions. The wind did not pickup much until late morning. One of my first sightings was an Osprey laboring to carry a very large fish from the direction of Main Ring Lake/Swenson Rd. area toward the Nepese nest. Waterfowl still remain a significant part of Fermi's bird interests with several Wood Ducks, many Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal, several Ring-necked Ducks, a Lesser Scaup, a good number of Buffleheads and several Ruddy Ducks. These were spread throughout the Lab. Other water birds included five Horned Grebes (MRL and across from Buffalo Feeders), several Pied-billed Grebes, Double-crested Cormorants, and American Coots. Also, Great Egrets are becoming more noticeable around the Lab lately. Shorebirds were somewhat of a disappointment considering all the habitat left by the recent rains. I only found one Greater Yellowlegs and several Killdeer. Other monitors did help with a couple of Spotted Sandpipers and a Wilson's Snipe. In addition, they found Warbling Vireos and a Palm Warbler, both firsts for the year. Two of the Great Horned Owl nests have two owlets each, while the other one appears empty at this time. A Barred Owl was also found. Sparrows are becoming more noticeable with singing Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and White-throated Sparrows. In addition there were Chipping Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and a late American Tree Sparrow. At least two Belted Kingfishers were in the Main Injector area. Additional birds of interest were American Kestrels (one carrying a snake near the Buffalo Feeders and a pair inside the Main Ring), Hairy Woodpeckers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a Brown Thrasher (a late first for the year) and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Sunday, April 21

The strong winds and cold temps on this early April morning affected us more than the birds. The temps increased after a time, but the winds remained the same. Most of our time was focused on the extremely large volume of water in the lakes, ponds and just about any other depression. The waterfowl were similar to last Wednesday with Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal (both in good numbers), Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead (good numbers in the buffalo fields, strange but true), Common Goldeneye, and Ruddy Duck. Other water birds were Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, and Caspian Tern. Shorebirds numbers are on the rise with good numbers of Lesser Yellowlegs, several each of Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, and Wilson's Phalaropes. While one of the Main Injector Ospreys was atop the nest, the other was harassing a Bald Eagle nearby. One of the Nepese Ospreys was seen flying to the nest platform with nest material and later fitting it in place. Four American Kestrels were found associated to three nest boxes. Other birds of interest this morning were Northern Harrier, Belted Kingfisher (good to see they have become more regular recently), Hairy Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Fox Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow. Denis' class added Cattle Egret (inside the Main Injector), Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Dave

Wednesday, April 17

First of all, the best bird of the day was a first for the Lab, a White-faced Ibis. This bird was at the north end of A.E. Sea, seen from Batavia Road early in the afternoon. It was in beautiful breeding plumage. Starting out early this morning conditions were cool but very pleasant, but by mid morning rain and hail changed birding conditions considerably. I was away for several weeks; therefore, I had a good number of new year birds at the Lab today. Waterfowl numbers were down from my last visit, but there was still a fairly good variety of species. Waterfowl seen were Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal (many locations), Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Ruddy Duck. The Swenson Road area produced both Lesser Yellowlegs and Greater Yellowlegs. In addition, an American Kestrel was perched atop the nest box at the end of the road. Another American Kestrel was found atop the nest box near the northeast corner of Eola and Batavia roads. The pair of Cooper's Hawks were copulating near the nest from last year in the Garden Club Area. Some other birds of interest were Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorants, American Coots (over 30 Lake Logo), Caspian Terns (A.E. Sea), Belted Kingfisher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler (migrant in Sparrow Hedge area), Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow. Still present, in small numbers, are American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. In the past week and a half, the Ospreys have returned to the Main Injector Nest site. In addition, the new nest platform near Nepese marsh is occupied by a new pair of Ospreys. This is truly amazing that two pairs of a state endangered raptor would nest in such close proximity. **IMPORTANT NOTE** Unfortunately, some people have ignored the barricades and signs and entered the area to get a closer look or picture. I was just there and reasonable views of the nest and birds can be had from the barricade. Please, DO NOT ruin it for everyone or worse the birds themselves, by entering the closed area. Thanks for your cooperation. Dave

Wednesday, March 27

It was still chilly for the season and cloudy with a mild wind, but none of these factors affected the birds. Most of the same ducks as Sunday were found, but the overall numbers were down. Found in the ever-opening waters of the Lab were Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck. At least two Northern Harriers were found hunting several locations of the Lab. It was a very good day for raptors beyond the harriers with the usual Red-tailed Hawks, three American Kestrels (1 pair near Buffalo Feeder Nest box %26 a male near Main Inj. nest box), a Cooper's Hawk (calling near last year's nest site), and the best, a Rough-legged Hawk (east of South Eola Rd). In the Garden Club, among the tree sparrows and juncos ,were a half dozen Song Sparrows and the elusive Yellow-rumped Warbler. This is most likely that same bird seen off and on since November. Both of the remaining Great Horned Owl nests continue to be occupied. Some of the other birds found were Northern Flickers (calling in many different locations), American Crow (again on the east side), Eastern Bluebirds (a bunch in the Big Woods), and a Turkey Vulture (over the Garden Club). Dave

Sunday, March 24

Uncomfortable, was the single best word to describe this morning's birding conditions. With the cold, windy (out of the north), snowy and damp environment ,we decided to concentrate on waterfowl. As it turned out this was one of the better waterfowl outings in quite some time with divers leading the way. We started out at Lake Law with two large rafts consisting mostly of Redheads and Canvasbacks. The consensus was that these were the largest groups of these two species ever seen in the Lab. Dabbling ducks still exist only in small numbers. The other species found in the Lab's waters this morning were Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser and Ruddy Duck. The number of American Coots has dropped from the last several visits and the Horned Grebe was again found in Casey's Pond. Dave

Friday, March 22

More ice? I was hoping I would not have to make that statement again until December. Most of the openings in the ice were much smaller than on Sunday. About the same quantity of waterfowl were present, just redistributed. The early morning was quite cold, but the sun warmed things up quite nicely while the light wind was not a factor. Ducks again, were well represented in most open water areas including Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup (at least one), Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and Common Merganser. Several Tundra Swans were found on Lake Logo and a Horned Grebe, first of the year, was on the small, open patch on Casey's Pond. A flock of several each of Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows, most likely migrants, was found on the south shore of A.E. Sea. Several American Crows were also on the east side of the Lab. Also found were several flyover Sandhill Cranes and a singing Dark-eyed Junco; a nice treat. Unfortunately, the platform Great Horned Owl nest inside the Main Ring Savanna is now abandoned, while the other two stick nests remain occupied. Two Red-tailed Hawk nests were also found to be occupied. A couple of other monitors added two more year firsts, a Turkey Vulture (late by 2-3 weeks) and an Eastern Phoebe (about on schedule). Dave

Sunday, March 17

Below normal temps combined with moderate winds made for chilly birding conditions but this did not affect the birds. Most of the Lab's bodies of water are opening more and more each day, we spent most of the morning searching these openings for waterfowl. Just about all of the expected ducks were found including Wood Duck (1st of year), Gadwall, American Wigeon (1st of year), American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal (1st of year), Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup (nice female), Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, and Ruddy Duck. Also among the many Canada Geese were several Cackling Geese. There was also a noticeable increase in the number of American Coots. Several areas were active with Sandhill Cranes dropping out of the sky to feed in the fields, then later taking off again to head north. Eastern Meadowlarks and Red-winged Blackbirds were quite active in many areas; but, interestingly, we have not yet had any of the large blackbird flocks typically found this time of year. Also of interest were some Northern Flickers, a single Red-breasted Nuthatch (seems most may have moved on), and a lone Great Horned Owl. Dave

Friday, March 15

Though the temps are still below normal this morning, the waters are slowly opening up with each trip to the Lab. It was a pleasant morning for birding. Starting out I was greeted by 7-8 Song Sparrows on the Lake Law berm; most likely the first migrant sparrows of the season. In the Sparrow Hedge area, a Northern Harrier was hunting through the newly cut pathways cut by the grounds people. One of the highlights of the morning , also in the Hedge area, was hearing a Northern Shrike singing for an extended period. Also found in the area were the first Common Grackles of the year. Waterfowl found in the Lab's waters were Greater White-fronted Geese, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser (another first of the year), and Ruddy Duck. American Coots were found in several locations. Interestingly an American Crow was found feeding on the ice of Main Ring Lake; typically the crows are only found on the far east side of the Lab. Some other interesting birds found were Sandhill Cranes (several flyover contacts), Great Horned Owls, Killdeer (several locations), a Northern Flicker, Tree Swallows, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebirds, and Eastern Meadowlarks (several locations). Dave

Sunday, March 10

We had great birding this morning despite not so friendly weather conditions. Temperatures were moderate and comfortable although light rain and slush on the ground were minor irritations. We ended up with nine, new year birds for the Lab and many of these were several weeks behind typical first sighting dates. The Northern Shrike was back just south of Lake Law. We then concentrated on waterfowl finding Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, and Ruddy Duck in various open water locations around the Lab. Killdeer were seen and heard in several locations. Three American Kestrels were found in close proximity to three separate nest boxes; at the end of Swensen Road, the north side of the Main Injector, and in the buffalo feeder area. Sandhill Cranes were heard overhead in the fog while we searched a north woodlot for a Sharp-shinned Hawk that was seen. Among all of the Red-winged Blackbirds seen we could only find one Rusty Blackbird. Some of the other birds seen were Northern Harrier, American Coot, 2 Great Horned Owls (at nest 3), Hairy Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Swamp Sparrow, and Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Friday, March 8

A late afternoon, early evening trip to Fermi today found mild temps and wind with sunny skies which provided good birding conditions. With the opening waters, especially Main Ring Lake, around the Lab, the pattern of divers returning to the Lab for the night was evident. As the sun went down, the number of birds in MRL continued to increase. The mostly Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers were joined by several Hooded Mergansers. A couple of Northern Harriers were found along Eola Road along with my main target, a Short-eared Owl (it was hunting throughout the dog fields). I also was able to contact an Eastern Screech-Owl in the Indian Creek area. Dave

Thursday, March 7

It was a beautiful morning for birding today at the Lab with partly sunny skies and the fresh snow. The only location with much in the way of water birds was Main Ring Lake having Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Mergansers, and American Coots. While the three American Coots on the Main Injector moat were joined by a fourth. Other than these, there were just moderate numbers of Mallards and Canada Geese in the limited open waters around the Lab. Due to the snow, when outside the car, I used X-C Skis to do my birding. The Garden Club was fairly quiet but there were a couple of American Crows (they are again sparse around the Lab) and about a dozen American Robins. This was the biggest group of robins of the year outside the heavily wooded areas. An American Kestrel is still in the Center Ring area; hopefully it will utilize the new nest box in the area. I checked out the first two Great Horned Owl nests and both are still occupied with the males nearby. The third was too hard to access with skis. The highlight of the morning was relocating the Barred Owl after not being seen for almost a year. Dave

Sunday, March 3

This March morning started out extremely cold but soon the sunny conditions quickly warmed it up to just about freezing. Lake Law was again completely frozen over, while waterfowl numbers remain well below expectations in other areas of the Lab. Lake Law had American Black Ducks, Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers. We added American Coots, Redheads, Lesser Scaup, and a pair of Ring-necked Ducks at the Main Injector Moat. Other birds of note for the morning were Northern Harrier, Long-eared Owl, Horned Lark (quite a few), Red-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, and Red-winged Blackbirds (now spread throughout the Lab). Dave

Friday, March 1

This morning it was cold, cloudy, snowing and windy, but the only factor that affected the birding was the wind. The lakes and ponds are starting to open but they were still mostly barren (there were also hardly any geese). I was greeted on my entrance into the Lab by 4 male Northern Pintails in the small opening on DUSAF Pond. About one-third of Lake Law was open with only a single Common Goldeneye found. The only other waterfowl found were several each Redheads, Lesser Scaup and Common Mergansers on Main Ring Lake. On the Main Injector Moat only the same 3 American Coots were found. American Kestrels were found near outbound Pine Street and near the end of Swensen Rd. (near the nest box). A Northern Shrike was atop a tall dead tree inside the Main Ring. The two existing Great Horned Owl nests were still inhabited while a third was found. The only other birds of note were a flyover American Crow on the east side and a fair number of Horned Larks along the ring roads. Dave

Sunday, February 24

A chilly start warmed quickly under a bright sun. A Northern Shrike greeted us early from several perches among various trees south of Lake Law. The only water birds of note were several Redheads, three American Coots and a Lesser Scaup all found in the Main Injector Moat. We had four raptors including Red-tailed Hawks, 2 American Kestrels (one on the nest box by the buffalo feeders), a beautiful soaring adult Bald Eagle, and a Rough-legged Hawk (only 3rd sighting of the season). The other highlights of the morning were a Belted Kingfisher (year's first), American Crows, Horned Larks, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Swamp Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbird. Dave

Thursday, February 21

A cloudy, cold, morning with mild winds found most waters still frozen. A very narrow slit in Main Ring Lake provided some swimming room for 4 Mallards and 3 Canada Geese. The Main Injector Moat added 3 American Coots and 3 Ring-necked Ducks. Also, American Black Ducks were found on Bullrush Pond. American Crows (3) were searching the ice of A.E. Sea for scraps. Found inside the Main Ring were Northern Flickers, a Hairy Woodpecker, several Horned Larks, a Northern Shrike and a Song Sparrow. The Great Horned Owl nest on the platform installed in the Main Ring Woods-East is still occupied. Another Great Horned Owl stick nest was found in Main Ring Woods-West, with the male roosted nearby. Dave

Sunday, February 17

The sunny, calm conditions seemed to offset the cold start to the morning. Two days of cold weather closed much of the open water that was present on A.E. Sea and Main Ring Lake last Friday morning. The only water fowl of note were several each Greater White-fronted Geese, Cackling Geese, and American Black Ducks on Bullrush Pond. The Northern Shrike was again found south of Lake Law. Red-winged Blackbirds were found, in small numbers, in several locations. The most active areas of the morning were Nepese marsh and the Garden Club. Among many of the typical winter residents were Eastern Bluebirds, Swamp Sparrows, a Song Sparrow and the bird of the day, found by Joe on a one note chip, was a Yellow-rumped Warbler. This must be one of those found in this area during December of last year. Denis' group added Snow Goose and Ross's Goose to provide a five goose day. They also had a Ring-necked Pheasant and a Wilson's Snipe. Dave

Friday, February 15

It was a little chilly with moderate winds this morning but the sunny skies helped warm the spirit. The first major movement of geese for the year was evident in the opening waters of the Lab this morning. Intermixed with the many Canada Geese in A.E. Sea (seen from Batavia Rd) were about 15 Greater White-fronted Geese (first of the year), more than a dozen Cackling Geese and several American Black Ducks. While viewing more geese further back on A.E. Sea from the Lake Law berm, several Red-winged Blackbirds (first of the year) were heard and a Northern Harrier was seen hunting on the western side of Lake Law. Later, two additional Northern Harriers were found hunting just east of Eola Rd. Main Ring Lake continues to open up and held well over a thousand Canada Geese, several more Greater White-fronted Geese, several Common Mergansers and a pair of Northern Pintails. Also seen were several American Coots and 2 male Ring-necked Ducks on the main Injector Moat and 8 Common Goldeneye on Andy's Pond. Other birds of interest were a Bald Eagle (over L.Law), American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Long-eared Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crow (first for year), Horned Lark, and Red- breasted Nuthatch. The observation of the morning occurred on my way out of the Lab. I observed two coyotes attack an adult deer on the ice of Lake Law. The two coyotes overpowered and out maneuvered the deer and feasted on their prize, later joined by two additional coyotes and a couple of crows. Dave

Sunday, February 10

This morning's weather was a mirror image of Thursday's trip to the Lab with rain affecting birding soon after we arrived. Some breaks in the rain allowed trips into the field starting with the Nepese Marsh area with a Northern Flicker, Blue Jays, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. A walk along Kress Creek yielded several American Robins, a Great Horned Owl and a flyover Cackling Goose. Much of the rest of the morning was spent searching the lakes and fields from the car. An American Kestrel and Horned Larks were the only terrestrial highlights. There was more variety in the water birds found in Main Ring Lake and the Main Injector moat. Found were American Coots, American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, and Common Mergansers. Denis' group added Canvasback, Rough-legged Hawk, Ring-necked Pheasant, and a surprise Savannah Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, February 7

The morning started out quite pleasant with mild temps and moderate winds, but soon the rains started and it became quite miserable. I started out by watching a Northern Harrier methodically hunting up and down the western edge of Lake Law. All the eastern lakes were still frozen but Main Ring Lake opened up a bit since Sunday and provided space for about a dozen each Lesser Scaup (first of the year) and Common Mergansers. Main Ring Road also provided a male Ring-necked Pheasant and Horned Larks. The Main Injector Moat , also open a little more today, had several more Lesser Scaup and American Coots. These were accompanied by a very handsome Canvasback. The Nepese Marsh area had several Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows which were quite active. The only activity in the Big Woods was provided by several Hairy Woodpeckers. Finally, a crew from Roads and Grounds found a Great Horned Owl nesting on a new platform placed in Main Ring Woods last year. Dave

Sunday, February 3

Light snow, cold temps and a mild breeze greeted us this morning. A pair of Common Goldeneyes and an American Black Duck was the extent of interesting waterfowl. A Northern Shrike was in the Sparrow Hedge area and a Sharp-shinned Hawk at the south end of Eola Road. In the Main Ring area we found a Great Blue Heron, a Wilson's Snipe and 2 Swamp Sparrows (first of the year). Horned Larks were found feeding along road edges and around the Buffalo Feeders. Our hike along Kress Creek produced several Blue Jays and American Goldfinches along with very good numbers of both Cedar Waxwings (first of the year) and American Robins. Denis added 5 Northern Harriers in various locations and several Eastern Bluebirds near the Osprey nest area. Dave

Friday, February 1

Despite the very cold temps and windy conditions, bird activity was quite high this morning probably due to the accompanying bright sun. Most of this activity was due to the fair number of Dark-eyed Junco and American Tree Sparrow flocks found in many areas. Most of these flocks consisted of a single species while one mixed flock, found near Giese Road, also contained at least four Fox Sparrows. Waterfowl remain sparse due to the ice conditions. A lone male Goldeneye was in the western most Main Injector Moat while three females were in the only opening in Main Ring Lake (about a 5 foot oval). Several American Black Ducks were mingling with a good number of Canada Geese in Bullrush Pond. The only other birds of note were a Northern Harrier, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-breasted Nuthatches and a couple of Great Horned Owls. Dave

Sunday, January 27

Temps were a little below normal with moderate winds that did not seem to affect birding this morning. The morning started out with a Bald Eagle flyover of Lake Law followed immediately by a male Northern Harrier. Most bodies of water were still frozen over with the only waterfowl of interest being 5 Common Mergansers and 2 pair of Redheads (very early first of the year sightings) on Main Ring Lake. The only other find of mention was an American Kestrel near the center of the Main Ring; a possible second was found later near the southern edge of the Ring. There was a pretty good amount of activity among the typical winter birds throughout the Lab. Dave

Thursday, January 24

Bitter cold and moderate wind made for uncomfortable but fairly successful birding this morning. Most bodies of water were completely iced over save for a small sliver on Main Ring Lake (it was void of birds) and Bullrush Pond which had a fair amount of Canada Geese, several Mallards and a pair of American Black Ducks. That was it for waterfowl today. A small number of regular winter residents were found in the Garden Club plus a couple of White- throated Sparrows. Possibly the same pair of Northern Harriers were again found hunting inside the Main Ring and along the berm. Also inside the Main Ring a Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen flying gripping some prey. Red-breasted Nuthatches remain in good numbers, especially considering that the first one last year was not seen until September. Also, Hairy Woodpeckers appear to be much more abundant than in the past few years. To round out the morning I had a couple Fox Sparrows and a Great Horned Owl. Dave

Sunday, January 20

This morning started out cold, windy and sunny with few birds and ended cold, windy and sunny but with some good finds. After a couple of warm days, the lakes are starting to close up again with today's cold snap. This limited the waterfowl finds to a couple of Cackling Geese, a pair of Hooded Mergansers and a half dozen Common Mergansers. Five Great Blue Herons were in the Swan Lake - Kidney Pond area. Horned Larks were found near the Buffalo Feeders and Red-Breasted Nuthatches were found in several different areas. Some firsts for the year were Ring-necked Pheasant, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Fox Sparrow and Pine Siskin. The bird of the day was a lone, calm, Long-eared Owl that was left undisturbed. Dave

Thursday, January 17

A bright cool morning with minimal winds greeted me although the winds picked up throughout the morning. Passerines were fairly active with most of the common winter birds of the area found in the Garden Club. Seen in this area were many Black-capped Chickadees, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Northern Cardinals; seen in lesser numbers were Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, and American Goldfinches. Ice has again capped off most bodies of water limiting the waterfowl highlights to a dozen Common Mergansers (Main Ring Lake), several American Black Ducks (Bullrush Pond), and a lone Common Goldeneye (Andy's Pond). A female Northern Harrier flew low over the small open area of Main Ring Lake flushing about sixty Canada Geese, while a male hunted the field adjacent to the lake. Eastern Bluebirds have not been as abundant in the Lab like last year, but I did find three along south Holter Road. A larger than normal group of over five Hairy Woodpeckers was found in the Big Woods. The highlight of the morning was not a bird, sorry Peter, but a mink found in the ditch along Road C. It was walking along the ice then dove through a small hole in the ice emerging again after about 30 seconds. It did this a second time then proceeded to patrol along the edge of the ice as I followed behind. Dave

Sunday, January 13

Temperatures were right at average values with very mild winds which did not affect bird activity for a change. Most bodies of water had significant openings due to the recent warm weather which allowed waterfowl more freedom of movement. Most locations had small quantities of both Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. In addition, Lake Law produced a Northern Pintail and the Main Ring Moat an American Black Duck. Both Lake Law and A.E. Sea had good quantities of gulls, mostly Herring Gulls, searching the ice for winter kill fish, while two Bald Eagles were found patrolling the ice of A.E. Sea for the same reason. One of the eagles was seen flying with food while also dining on the wing. Red-breasted Nuthatches are still around the Lab but not in the quantities seen several weeks ago. A Great Blue Heron was seen walking an iced portion of Casey's Pond. Finally, the largest flock of Horned Larks seen in several weeks was observed along the gravel margins of Road C possibly because the fields were iced over. Dave

Wednesday, January 9

Everything was beautiful about a late afternoon trip to Fermi today except for the very strong winds which caused the passerines to be extremely quiet. The Garden Club had an additional reason for inactivity, that being a Cooper's Hawk. It flew from the area of last year's nest and perched at the southwest corner of the site, then raced after a Mourning Dove which used the wind to its advantage to dodge the attack. The hawk then circled and returned to the woods. The first large population of divers was located on Main Ring Lake. Along with many Canada Geese and a few Cackling Geese there were over 75 Common Mergansers and over 150 Common Goldeneyes. Three additional Common Goldeneyes were found on Casey's Pond. A nice pair of Northern Harriers were fighting the wind to hunt the eastern area of the Dog Fields. Later, about 5:00 pm, I found a Short-eared Owl hunting the same area under much less windy conditions. I also was able to contact an Eastern Screech-Owl in the Main Ring Woods (West). Dave

Sunday, January 6

We had seasonally average conditions this morning, but a brisk wind kept the bird activity down. This was even evident in the Garden Club, which has had good activity recently but was quite still today. We did, however, manage a White-throated Sparrow there, among the more common winter residents. The only waterfowl of note was possibly the same Common Mergansers in Main Ring Lake from Thursday and a lone Common Goldeneye in Casey's Pond. The best birds of the morning were a Rough-legged Hawk and Northern Shrike both inside the Main Ring, a Wilson's Snipe near the Main Injector, and a Pair of Great Horned Owls along Kautz Road(Girl Scout Woods). Dave

Thursday, January 3

It was cloudy, a little windy with average temperatures. In many locations, especially the woodlots, the birds were very quiet with the exception of the Garden Club. It was alive with many Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows, but no yellow-rumps were found. Very little open water was found with most geese observed in the fields, including two Cackling Geese. The only waterfowl of note were about a dozen Common Mergansers in one of two small open areas on Main Ring Lake. Raptors were very good with several Red-tailed Hawks, three Northern Harriers, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and the bird of the day an adult Golden Eagle. The Eagle was perched on a dead tree deep inside the Main Ring; it finally flew high and close to overhead, heading east. Red-breasted Nuthatches remain prevalent in most pine stands. Finally, a Great Horned Owl and three Long-eared Owls were found. Dave

Sunday, December 30

Denis was out in the brisk 14 degree temperatures to tally the last birds for the year. He filled in some gaps for the week and got Eastern Bluebirds to complete the weekly string for the year. Long-eared owls were one of the main highlights. He found the Northern Shrike again then added American Black Duck and House Finch for this last week of the year. Dave

Thursday, December 27

Conditions for a brief early afternoon trip to Fermi were quite nice with average temperatures, overcast skies and very little wind. Most locations were quite quiet except the Garden Club which was very active with mostly American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. In addition, there is still at least one Yellow-rumped Warbler in this area. Elsewhere, I also added Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Fox Sparrow. Interesting waterfowl were a Lesser Scaup and Common Goldeneye (Casey's Pond) and 15 Common Mergansers (Main Ring Lake). Other birds of interest were a Northern Shrike (south of Lake Law), Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a pair of Great Horned Owls. Dave

Sunday, December 23

Just about all bodies of water in the Lab were frozen over this morning. This morning the only waterfowl of mention was a fly-in Ring-neck Duck to Casey's Pond. A Killdeer was still around. Oddly enough it was seen flying the Lake Law area with a group of Rock Pigeons. Four Northern Harriers were found in several locations around the Lab and a Bald Eagle was perched in one of the dead trees inside the Main Ring. At least one Yellow-rumped Warbler was still in the Garden Club. Other birds worth mentioning were a Belted Kingfisher, Song Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow (Main Injector area), Red-breasted Nuthatches (several locations), and Horned Larks (along South Eola Rd). Dave

Wednesday, December 19

There were great conditions for birding this morning with mild, above normal temperatures, little to no wind and overcast skies. Waterfowl highlights found on Lake Law were Cackling Geese, Northern Shovelers, and Common Goldeneye; on Nepese there was a Gadwall and American Black Ducks; and on Main Ring Lake I added Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers. The eight Killdeer and Least Sandpiper are still hanging around A.E. Sea. Also in this area there was an adult Bald Eagle (Peter's on Sunday was an immature) by Owl's Nest Woods and a Northern Shrike near the southwest corner of Lake Law. I had at least 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the Garden Club. They were very active feeding on fresh manure piles. Other highlights were a pair of American Kestrels inside the Main Ring, several Eastern Bluebirds, Red-breasted Nuthatches (found in just about any pine grove), a White-throated Sparrow (Ed Ctr feeders) and a Great Horned Owl. Dave

Tuesday, December 18

A Least Sandpiper was located along the shores of A.E. Sea this morning. Dave

Sunday, December 16

Out for a short time this morning Peter relocated the Killdeer from yesterday's CBC. He also found a Bald Eagle. Dave

Saturday, December 15

The weather was windy and wet for today's Christmas Bird Count. This greatly affected many aspects of our birding. These factors aside, we had a species count of 53 birds which was only 2 species short of the Lab high of 55 birds. The count of total birds, however, was quite low. All bodies of water were open producing near-average numbers of Cackling Geese, Canada Geese and Mallards. The highlight waterfowl of the day were 4 Tundra Swans (it's been 26 years since the last CBC Lab sighting). Also seen were American Black Ducks (8) and Northern Shovelers (13). The divers were down in numbers; the warm weather apparently is still keeping them up north. Divers seen were Common Goldeneye (25), Hooded Mergansers (4) and Common Mergansers (14). The sighting of a Northern Goshawk was only the second CBC Lab sighting (the other was 30 years ago). The Wilson's Snipe seen was expected but not the 8 Killdeer which had only been seen once before (34 years ago). Owls found were Eastern Screech-Owls (2), Great Horned Owls (5) and Long-eared Owls (4). Some other significant finds were 16 Red-breasted Nuthatches (another Lab high), 7 Fox Sparrows (tying a previous high), and 30 Rusty Blackbirds (blowing away a previous high of 3). Finally, other highlights for the Count were Ring-necked Pheasants (2), Belted Kingfishers (2), a Northern Shrike, Cedar Waxwings (3), Yellow-rumped Warblers (2), Eastern Bluebirds (5), and Pine Siskins (2). Dave

Monday, December 10

In the early morning, average temperatures with northwest winds did keep the birds down somewhat in open areas. The only highlights on Lake Law were several Common Goldeneyes and Hooded Mergansers. While Main Ring Lake had thirteen Northern Shovelers and a lone Common Merganser. The most interesting highlight of the morning was three Yellow-rumped Warblers found together in the Garden Club. A Sharp-shinned Hawk was found cruising along the South Eola Pines, while a Northern Harrier was hunting the adjacent fields. Woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere including Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. The Ed. Center feeders, among a good population of birds, had one each Fox Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Pine Siskin. Three Great Horned Owls were found in several locations during the day. Finally, Sandhill Cranes were heard flying overhead while walking through the Big Woods. Dave

Sunday, December 9

Peter and Denis braved the rainy weather this morning and were rewarded with a female Black Scoter on Lake Law and a Northern Shrike just south of the lake. Dave

Saturday, December 8

Jack had the first Common Mergansers of the season this morning along with a Common Goldeneye and a couple of Ruddy Ducks. In addition, a small flock of Rusty Blackbirds was found. Dave

Thursday, December 6

The temperature, although not as mild as on recent trips, was still above average with moderate winds. Northern Shovelers (most bodies of water) and Hooded Mergansers (Lake Law) still remain in good numbers. Also of note on Lake Law were two male Northern Pintails and several Common Goldeneyes. No sign of the eagle but a Northern Shrike was perched atop one of the taller trees south of Lake Law. An unsuccessful search for crossbills produced the most Red-breasted Nuthatches I have ever seen in the Lab, around two dozen in several small groups. Interestingly, over each of my last two visits to the Lab I have noticed more Hairy Woodpeckers than I can remember seeing in any single visit. The only other birds of note were an American Kestrel (again in the Main Injector area) and a Great Horned Owl. Peter also added a Fox Sparrow while filling the feeders. Dave

Sunday, December 2

Very mild temperatures and partly cloudy skies produced October-like conditions with December-like birds. Waterfowl remain similar to recent visits with highlights of Cackling Geese, Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, a Northern Pintail and still a very good number of Northern Shovelers. Probably the same Bald Eagle as was seen Thursday was perched in Owl's Nest Woods (in Sparrow Hedge area). Some Red Crossbills were still in the South Eola Pines (very irregular in their presence), along with Red-breasted Nuthatches. Inside the Main Ring we found a couple Northern Harriers and a couple Ring-necked Pheasants. Additionally, a flock of American Tree Sparrows contained a couple of Swamp Sparrows. Eastern Bluebirds were seen here and several other locations. Other highlights were a Cooper's Hawk, an American Kestrel (Main Injector area), a White-throated Sparrow (Ed. Ctr. Feeders), and a strangely lone Pine Siskin in pines near Roads and Grounds. Dave

Thursday, November 29

With mostly clear skies, the cool but warming morning was quite pleasant for birding. The main affect was on A.E. Sea and Dusaf which being frozen over, were devoid of birds. Lake Law still had many open areas supporting lots of geese but nothing of interest in the early morning. A pleasant surprise was an adult Bald Eagle perched atop one of the tall trees south of the lake. Main Ring Lake still had a good number of Northern Shovelers and an American Coot. At least two Red Crossbills were found among the south Eola pines, while Horned Larks called from the plowed field behind the pines. Five Sandhill Cranes searched for food along the western edge of this field. Earlier in the week, a Roads and Grounds crew flushed other Sandhill Cranes during a controlled burn. A Northern Harrier was resting on a post west of Main Ring Lake and Fox Sparrows are still being found in small numbers. Dave

Sunday, November 25

Conditions were quite nice this morning with cool temps and little to no wind, but our trip was short and did not turn up any real surprises. Highlights on the lakes were Common Goldeneye and Hooded Mergansers on Lake Law while Main Ring Lake produced Greater White-fronted Geese (30-40), Northern Shovelers, and an American Coot. Other birds of interest were a Northern Shrike (just south of L.Law), American Kestrels (1-inside M.Ring, 1-Main Injector area), and at the Ed Center Feeders a Fox Sparrow and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Dave

Friday, November 23

A late afternoon/evening trip to Fermilab proved very interesting despite the cold, windy conditions. Scanning the waters as the geese returned from the fields for the night, I found Greater White-fronted Geese (at least fifteen in Main Ring Lake), Snow Geese (1-blue in MRL and 1-white in Casey's Pond), Cackling Geese, Canada Geese (many returning f/fields), Mallards, Northern Shovelers (several in MRL), and Common Goldeneye (several in MRL). I was surprised to have a few flocks of Sandhill Cranes passing over so late in the afternoon and then even more surprised to have some still going over more than a half hour after sunset. Several Killdeer were feeding at the far northern edge of A.E. Sea along with a very late Least Sandpiper. At least one Bonaparte's Gull was at the south end of Lake Law. My highlight of the trip was a three -owl evening. A Great Horned Owl was perched in a dead tree inside the Main Ring and an Eastern Screech-Owl responded along Indian Creek. The best was finding a hunting Short-eared Owl on North Eola Rd fighting the strong winds. It was pretty dark already and the bird landed on Eola Rd in my headlights about 20 yards in front of my stopped car. After watching each other for several minutes the owl took off but only flew about 20 feet to the edge of the grass and watched me from there. I had driven the area several times but did not see the owl until at least 20 minutes after sunset. Dave

Sunday, November 18

A very nice windless mid-fall morning greeted us today with temperatures rising from the low 30's to the mid 50's during our visit. The highlight of the morning was a "five goose day", with many Canada Geese (most to date), Cackling Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Geese (2 white %26 1 blue) and a Ross's Goose. The most interesting aspect of these sightings was first seeing most of these birds in Lake Law early, then in the fields mid-morning and finally back to Lake Law as we departed in the late morning. Other waterfowl seen were Wood Ducks (well over 25 at the back of Main Ring Lake), American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, and Hooded Mergansers. Other water-related birds were several Killdeer and a lone American Coot (Lake Law). Other birds of note for the morning were several Horned Larks, a Red-breasted Nuthatch (at feeders), Fox Sparrows (several locations), a White-throated Sparrow (at feeders), Snow Buntings (North Roads area), and Pine Siskins (at feeders). Denis found a Northern Shrike on his way out along Pine Street. Dave

Thursday, November 15

Chilly, partly cloudy but calm conditions provided great conditions for birding. Waterfowl seen, mostly in Lake Law included Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese (Peter had flyovers), Mallards (numbers way up from previous visits), a pair of Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers, a female Bufflehead, and Hooded Mergansers (still a good number around). The Lake also had some Killdeer and American Coots. The Garden Club area had Fox Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Also, included in a large flock of blackbirds nearby were several Rusty Blackbirds and Common Grackles. Peter and I met at Main Ring Lake and were treated to the best birds of the day. First a young adult Peregrine Falcon perched on a dead tree feasting on some prey, then a beautiful dark morph Rough-legged Hawk was seen hunting the prairie west of the lake. We also had two American Pipits flyover. Other highlights of the morning were a Northern Harrier, two American Kestrels near the osprey nest, Red-breasted Nuthatches (still in very good numbers), and several Horned Larks. Dave

Sunday, November 11

Mild temperatures and strong gusty winds did affect the birding this morning but not the results. Some very interesting birds were seen; some as they were blown through the area. Red Crossbills (Fermi List Life bird this year) are still around in good numbers but were a challenge to find at times due to the gusty winds in the South Eola Rd. Pines area. Pine Siskins and Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to be seen but are very erratic in location (still the most Lab sightings over the last several years). A couple of Snow Buntings were blown by us inside the Main Ring and over the berm eastward. While spotted in the far reaches of Lake Law were a Pectoral Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper (both late sightings). Waterfowl of note were a Snow Goose (Blue in L.Law), Northern Shovelers, a Redhead (L.Law), Gadwall (L.Law), Green-winged Teal and Hooded Mergansers (still in good numbers). Other interesting sightings of the morning were two Northern Harriers, an American Kestrel, a Ring-necked Pheasant (S.Eola Rd), a pair of Great Horned Owls, Cedar Waxwings, and several Fox Sparrows. Dave

Friday, November 9

Today was a beautiful late afternoon for checking out some of the birds at Fermi with mild temperatures and very little wind. A quick scan of Lake Law did produce a highlight pair of Horned Grebes. Waterfowl were not quite as exciting with loads of Canada Geese, several Cackling Geese, the usual compliment of Mallards and a good number of Hooded Mergansers (the numbers have been increasing with each visit). American Black Ducks and Northern Shovelers were found elsewhere. Also, there were still several Greater Yellowlegs along the shore. Peter added a Wilson's Snipe, I assume along Lake Law's shoreline where I left him. Most of the Lab was quiet (regarding birding) with the only other highlights being Red-breasted Nuthatches and several Fox Sparrows. My main objective was owls and I had only moderate success. I scanned for both short-ears (it's a little early, especially as recent records indicate) and great horns as the darkness approached with no success. I did contact an Eastern Screech-Owl inside the ring. This species has been tough to locate, especially since the barred owl sightings over the last two years (none recently). I also had a couple of non-bird highlights in the dark including a mink and a skunk which I followed for over a quarter mile inside the ring with its tail waving in my headlights. Dave

Sunday, November 4

The morning started out cool, cloudy and calm. As the morning wore on it warmed a little, most clouds disappeared, and the wind picked up. Birding was not affected by any of these conditions. We were greeted by a pair of Tundra Swans on the far west side of Lake Law to start the day. Later, these two birds flew directly overhead and headed northeast (strange?). Waterfowl are now the only group of birds that still have significant numbers throughout the Lab. Other waterfowl found were Canada Geese (larger number than recent visits), Cackling Geese, Wood Ducks (Main Ring Lake), American Black Ducks(MRL), Mallards (everywhere), Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail (Sea of Evanescence), Green-winged Teal (SofE), a Black Scoter (Bird of the Day! SofE) and Hooded Mergansers (quite a few on L.Law). There was also a very crisply marked Horned Grebe (another very good bird) on Lake Law. Sparrows are getting harder to find with Fox Sparrows again the most numerous species, followed by lesser numbers of Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and White-throated Sparrows not to mention the good numbers of our typical winter visiting American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other interesting sightings included a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk, two American Kestrels (inside Ring), a Northern Shrike (West Wilson), and several Horned Larks. Dave

Thursday, November 1

The second sign of an oncoming winter birding season is seeing a Killdeer walking on ice early in the morning. It was cool this morning but still pleasant for birding though the quantity and diversity of birds continue to drop. Waterfowl show the most diversity while overall numbers were low. Species seen were: Canada Geese (numbers holding steady over last week), Cackling Geese (seemed like more than average today), American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler (Sea of E.), Northern Pintail (Sea of E.), Green-winged Teal (everywhere), Hooded Merganser (L. Law), and Ruddy Duck (L.Law). Sparrows are rapidly fading; after American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, Fox Sparrows were the most numerous sparrow followed by Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Other birds of interest were Greater Yellowlegs (several in Lakes Region), American Pipits (about a dozen at south end of A.E. Sea), Cedar Waxwings (two flocks approx 20 ea, Sparrow Hedge), and Rusty Blackbirds (Lakes Region and Garden Club). A continuing surprise was another flock of about 25 Pine Siskins inside the Main Ring. Finally, I had a Cooper's Hawk dogging a flushed Great Horned Owl as I walked through a woodlot. Dave

Tuesday, October 30

Windy, best describes the birding conditions this morning. The birds were reluctant to fly and typically, when they did, they were blown from view. Also, the numbers of both sparrows and waterfowl were way down from the previous visits. Throw in the fact that American Tree Sparrows are being seen in growing numbers you have the formula for a winter birding season. Arriving a little late, most of the geese had already left Lake Law and more importantly the Red-necked Grebe was not found either; it was sighted Monday evening. After a quick scan I only found a Hooded Merganser and several Northern Shoveler. I opted out of the Sparrow Hedge because of the windy conditions and chose to search more protected areas. Besides the American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos, the only sizeable group of sparrows was a number of Fox Sparrows in Main Ring Woods. Also, inside the Ring, seven American Crows were spotted. This was unusual since crows are usually found along the perimeters of the Lab. Purple Finches were still present here along with a flock of Cedar Waxwings. Nepese had about a half dozen Yellow- rumped Warbles come through with some chickadees and goldfinches. In addition, I had another flock of Pine Siskins here but, they were blown away almost as soon as they landed in a couple of cedar trees. The sighting of the day was a Peregrine Falcon skirting the southern tree line of the Lab (along Butterfield Rd). It was preceded by a crow and followed by a blackbird. After about a minute it banked south and was gone. Dave

Sunday, October 28

Cool and partly cloudy conditions again greeted us this morning for birding. First of all the Red-necked Grebe was still present on Lake Law. Waterfowl numbers and diversity were down considerably from Friday morning's numbers. New from Friday were a Common Goldeneye and some Snow Geese (both on Lake Law). Other waterfowl seen were Greater White-fronted Geese (Buffalo fields), Canada Geese (numbers much lower), Cackling Geese, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal (in good numbers), Bufflehead, and Hooded Merganser (all in the Lakes Region). Sparrow numbers were way down with Fox Sparrows the dominate species in the areas we birded (Denis had some others). Also, the first American Tree Sparrows were found on site. Other birds of interest were a Northern Harrier (inside the Ring); a Calling Eastern Towhee and flyover Rusty Blackbird (both in the Hedge area) and finally Purple Finches are still around (these in Main Ring Woods). Denis' group added two good birds from the Sparrow Hedge area including an American Pipit and the first Northern Shrike of the season, he also added American Kestrel and Horned Lark. Dave

Friday, October 26

It was a little cool early this morning, but conditions improved throughout the morning. Birding was good from the start with a Red-necked Grebe (bird of the day!) found on Lake Law before we went a little more than 100 yards from the car. Waterfowl appear to be approaching a peak with a good variety found, mostly on Lake Law. The list of birds included Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese (over 40 in Buffalo fields and Main Ring Lake), Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead (female - Main Ring Lake), Hooded Merganser, and Ruddy Duck. Shorebirds found on A.E. Sea were mostly Greater Yellowlegs and at least one Lesser Yellowlegs. Sparrow numbers remained about the same as earlier in the week with noticeably more Fox Sparrows, while White-crowned Sparrows outnumbered the White-throated Sparrows. Other sparrows found in much lesser numbers were Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. The bulk of the sparrows were found in the Sparrow Hedge area, Nepese Marsh Area, and Main Ring Woods. Other birds of interest were a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Phoebe (between L. Law and A.E. Sea), Brown Creeper (Main Ring Woods), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (several locations), Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers (again in low numbers), Eastern Meadowlarks, and Purple Finches (Nepese and Main Ring Woods). Dave

Monday, October 22

The morning started nice enough but late morning rains did impact the birding. Birding did pickup after lunch with only spotty showers and improved conditions. Waterfowl numbers appeared down slightly (except geese) from the last few visits. Birds seen (mostly in the Lakes Region) were Canada Geese (lots), Cackling Geese (several), Mallard, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback (one on Lake Law) and Hooded Merganser (several on Lake Law). A Pied-billed Grebe and several American Coots were also found on Lake Law. There still are some shorebirds in the Lakes Region including Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpipers. Sparrow numbers have also diminished, but there are some to be found including Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow (numbers were up), Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow (only one seen), Swamp Sparrow (numbers were way down), White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow (both still in good numbers), and Dark-eyed Junco. Other birds of interest in the Sparrow Hedge area were several Northern Harriers, several groups of Cedar Waxwings, several Rusty Blackbirds, an Eastern Meadowlark and several Purple Finches (also other locations). Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers are still around but numbers are way down. Other interesting sightings were an American Kestrel (north of security office), Great Horned Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewee (tied latest sighting in Lab), Brown Creeper and Winter Wren (both in Main Ring Woods), and Hermit Thrush (several in Main Ring Woods). A couple of interesting observations were made. First, I watched a couple of Greater Yellowlegs catching and eating small minnows along the south shore of Lake Law. The second was seeing a male Northern Harrier fly from the south edge of the Sparrow Hedge with what appeared to be a vole and drop it in a cut field. The harrier then picked it up again, dropped it and let it run; repeating this process several times until it appeared to be dead. It then took it or another vole (it appeared to be smaller) and repeated the process again about 20 yards away. The strangest part of this exercise was the Harrier then flew off, leaving this prey, to hunt fields to the west with a couple of other harriers. It did not appear he returned to his booty. Dave

Monday, October 15

The weather was a little cool to start with but still provided a very pleasant morning of birding with the wind affecting the birds only slightly. Shorebirds were found on Dusaf Pond and A.E. Sea (mostly on Dusaf) including Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers. Canada Goose numbers are picking up with each visit to the Lab. There were also some Cackling Geese mixed in with the Canada's. Two Snow Geese (1-white and 1-Blue) were found; one in Main Ring Lake, the other in Swan Lake. Other waterfowl found throughout the Lab included Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser and Ruddy Duck. Several Bonaparte's Gulls were found on Lake Law (far northwest area). Another immature Bald Eagle (story follows) was found perched on a stump near the east shore of A.E. Sea until a couple of gulls spotted it and forced it to fly. The gulls persisted to harass the eagle for several minutes, then got bored and flew off. The eagle then landed on the east shoreline. A minute or two later the eagle took flight then swooped down and picked up a fairly large fish (looked in the 2-3 lb class) from the water and carried it (laboring) into the small woods not far away and proceeded with breakfast. Sparrows remain evident in most areas including Eastern Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow (still most prevalent sparrow), White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco (numbers are increasing). Some other notable sightings were Great Egret (only one by Swan L.), Northern Harrier (a couple), Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel (Garden Club, again), Great Horned Owl (a surprise fly-in along the Sparrow Hedge), Horned Lark, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Marsh Wren (Swenson Rd. Pond), Hermit Thrush (several), Tennessee Warbler (three together near Nepese Marsh), and Eastern Meadowlark (inside the Ring). The surprise birds of the day were a very late Eastern Wood-Pewee and a group of 10-15 early Pine Siskin (feeding on various wildflower seeds). Both these sightings were in the Nepese/Garden Club area. Dave

Sunday, October 7

We had a very good morning for birding today. True it was a little cold (if I had remembered gloves it would have been more pleasant) and windy but, we had some great birds. We started out really good at Lake Law with a Bonaparte's Gull. Waterfowl seen in the Lakes Region were Cackling Goose, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Shorebirds seen in the Lakes Region were Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Some warblers are still around (besides the Yellow-rumps and Palms) including an Orange-crowned Warbler, Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler (with a nice group of Ruby-crowned Kinglets), and a Common Yellowthroat. The highlight group remains sparrows including Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow ( in good quantities), Swamp Sparrow (most numerous), White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. Some of the other interesting sightings of the morning were a Turkey Vulture (gliding southward), a Cooper's Hawk, a couple of American Kestrels, a Sora, an Eastern Phoebe, a Barn Swallow, a House Wren, a Brown-headed Cowbird, and a beautiful male Purple Finch. The birding highlight of the morning was the interaction between an immature Bald Eagle and a Northern Harrier. It started out with several sightings of the eagle during our traverse of the Sparrow Hedge as it patrolled the area. As we then watched the eagle from the south end of Lake Law, it dipped into the a bay on the western shore and came up chasing a Northern Harrier carrying some prey. This chase continued for around five minutes with the eagle matching the maneuvering of the more mobile harrier most of the time and came very close to grabbing the harrier at one point. In the end they parted and went their separate ways. I'm sure the harrier was quite happy when the eagle decided to back off of the pursuit.

Thursday, October 4

The weather was fantastic for birding at Fermilab this morning. It was mostly sunny with temps starting in the high 50's and ending in the mid 70's. The lakes have changed during my absence with the Sea of Evanescence now filled, Lake Law much lower and A.E. Sea extremely low. Dusaf Pond is about where it was several weeks ago. Shorebirds appear quite fluid, moving about much more than earlier in the season. Seen today were Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Pectorial Sandpipers and still several Stilt Sandpipers. Great Egrets are still present in good numbers (over 25 in the lakes region today). Lake Law had a large number of Canada Geese (Denis had a Ross's Goose on Sunday), while most all of the ducks were on the Sea of Evanescence including Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Wood Ducks and Blue-winged Teal (there may have been others but lighting and distance limited my view). My trip down to the Sparrow Hedge produced many Yellow-rumped Warblers (they were also just about everywhere else in the Lab) and Swamp Sparrows. Also seen were Eastern Towhees, several Lincoln's Sparrows, and a Purple Finch (first of the year). In the Hedge area I added Eastern Phoebe, Blue- Headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Magnolia Warbler, White-throated Sparrow (in good numbers), and White-crowned Sparrow. The south end of Lake Law was devoid of all but Killdeer but walking through the sedges I continually flushed Palm Warblers (there were lots of them). Swenson Road Pond (now bone dry) produced many Swamp Sparrows, a couple of Marsh Wrens and a Sora. The Garden Club had mostly sparrows, but nothing different from the Hedge area. As for raptors I had several Red-tailed Hawks, an American Kestrel and a Great Horned Owl. Dave

Sunday, September 9

The early morning was the start of an absolutely beautiful fall day; partly cloudy, cool with a slight breeze. It became more windy around 8:00, but this did not seem to affect the birding especially if you were out of the direct wind. Warblers were very good at the end of the Sparrow Hedge through late morning (when Denis' class was there). Warblers here were Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler (only one here but many in other locations), Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and a dreaded Yellow-rumped Warbler (typically marks a waning warbler season. Hopefully it's a fluke). Overall this was one of the best warbler days in quite a while. Several Soras were found in sedges at the south end of A.E. Sea. Following a Veery into Owl's Nest Woods (at the northeast corner of the Hedge), a group of 10-15 Wood Ducks flushed from some thick brush into A.E. Sea. A significant sighting in the Hedge area was a Red-breasted Nuthatch (first sighting in two years at the Lab). Shorebirds continue to drop in numbers. Seen at the south end of Lake Law were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and Wilson's Snipe. A Lesser Yellowlegs was added at Lake Logo. Also in the Hedge/Lakes region were many Cedar Waxwings, several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and a flyover Bald Eagle (adult). I also added several Magnolia Warblers and an Ovenbird in the Big Woods area along with a Philadelphia Vireo (another first for the year), and both Swainson's Thrush and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Other birds worth mentioning were both a flyover Turkey Vulture and Belted Kingfisher, several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (several locations), an American Kestrel and a Cooper's Hawk (inside the Ring), and several Eastern Meadowlarks. I missed seeing any Ospreys; our first miss since the last of March (while past records indicate they should still be around for a few more weeks). Denis' group came up with some additional birds, the first being the Osprey I missed, good job Denis! Warblers he added from the Sparrow Hedge were Chestnut-sided Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler (a third first of the year bird), and Wilson's Warbler. He also added a Solitary Sandpiper (I assume at Lake Law), Chimney Swift, Cliff Swallow and Red-headed Woodpecker (at Owl's Nest Woods). Actually, his group also found the eagle. Dave

Thursday, September 6

Except for the moderately high humidity, the morning was perfect for birding with temps in the 60's to 70's and a moderate breeze. The only really productive shorebird habitat was at the south end of Lake Law. The Sea of Evanescence is almost dry again with very few birds and most of these were Killdeer. Lake Law produced Killdeer (over half of the bird count), Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper (Saturday it was at Evanescence, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Wilson's Snipe (first of season). Warblers seen in the Sparrow Hedge area were Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler (first of year), Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat. Other birds of interest in the area were Pied-billed Grebe, Chimney Swift, Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo (a couple still singing away), and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Most of the warblers were in small, one to three bird groups but I did run into two larger groups with ten to twenty birds each; one in Main Ring woods and the other on the west side of the Big Woods. In addition to most of the warblers seen in the Hedge area these groups also included a Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warblers, a Blackburnian Warbler and a Black-and-white Warbler. Also, with these warblers were several Empids and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. I also had a couple of Belted Kingfishers, several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and a Great Horned Owl (in West Main Ring Woods). Dave

Sunday, September 2

Denis was out this morning and produced an impressive list of birds (70 Species). Here are the highlight birds that were not seen yesterday: Black-crowned Night-Heron, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle (a young bird and adult seen independently in the southern lakes area), Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Purple Martin, Marsh Wren, Veery, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Wilson's Warbler. Dave

Saturday, September 1

This morning was cool and cloudy with a moderate breeze. These conditions made for pleasant birding though the wind may have affected the warblers a little. Shorebird numbers are still down but with fairly good variety. The best of these was a Baird's Sandpiper at the Sea of Evanescence. It was accompanied by Semipalmated Plovers (Sea of Evanescence), Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Short-billed Dowitchers. All of these were at the Sea of Evanescence and the south end of Lake Law. The number of Great Egrets has dropped considerably from the high numbers witnessed over the last few weeks. The Northern Shovelers were still present, mostly in Dusaf Pond. Highlights in the Sparrow Hedge area were Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Bell's Vireo, Cape May Warbler (first for year), American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and an Osprey flying over (towards the east away from the nest area) with a large shad. Warblers seen in other areas were Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Ovenbird and Mourning Warbler. Again the Warblers were quite spotty and low in numbers. Peter again spotted the Upland Sandpiper and we did see the female Blue Grosbeak with young. Some of the grassland fields had good numbers of Eastern Meadowlarks. As we were leaving, several Common Nighthawks were spotted flying thru the Lab. Dave

Thursday, August 30

The early morning was quite pleasant with cloudless skies, cool (for the season) temps and a mild breeze. The breeze picked up later and kept conditions very nice until early afternoon. Bird activity was not at its best , but there were still some interesting sightings. Great Egret still continue to be the most numerous wader in the Lab. The Sunday rains brought up the levels of all the lakes thus reducing the amount of shorebird habitat. The good news is that the Sea of Evanescence is once again a viable shorebird habitat. The overall number of shorebirds is down with Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Pectoral Sandpipers at Evanescence and a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers at the south end of Lake Law. Now I know why Solitary Sandpipers got their name. I was observing one that had its tail feathers flared. As I panned this bird with my binocs, its tail flared more. Then a second Solitary Sandpiper came into view and both birds immediately started to spar, jumping on each other's backs and dueling, then finally separating. At this point both birds went their separate ways calmly feeding. The Sparrow Hedge area was quite quiet with little activity. The only birds of note here were a lone Blackpoll Warbler (first of year) and a cruising Cooper's Hawk (this may have been one of the reasons for the lack of activity). The first Northern Shovelers of the season were on Dusaf Pond (quite a good number of them). A Northern Harrier was standing preening itself in a field on the east side of North Eola Road. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were found in several locations throughout the morning. Warblers were few and far between. Besides the blackpoll , I found several Tennessee Warblers, a couple of American Redstarts, and a Magnolia Warbler. The Female Blue Grosbeak and a couple of juveniles were again located. Also a Great Horned Owl was flushed after trying several locations. The highlight of my morning was watching an apparent young Osprey trying to hunt for a meal. I spotted a couple of Ospreys flying over Casey's Pond. One bird flew off while the other started to dive for fish. It first tried the deeper parts of the pond then started to dive into the shallows and sit in the water apparently trying to grab for fish in the shallow water. After ten seconds or so it would push up and fly up to dive into another shallow location. It did this more than a dozen times unsuccessfully in its attempt to attain a meal. It finally flew up shaking off the water and circling the pond to dry off. It finally flew off still hungry. Dave

Wednesday, August 29

An Upland Sandpiper was spotted twice by Roads and Grounds personal near Eola and East Wilson yesterday. Peter was able to confirm the sighting this morning. The bird was not found on Thursday. Dave

Saturday, August 25

Twelve Black Terns were reported flying in the Lake Law area for several hours on Saturday afternoon (Aug 25). Dave

Sunday, August 26

Cloudy conditions provided us with very good birding early this morning. The initial light rains still provided good birds but the late morning heavier rains shut us down. To start we checked A.E. Sea and Lake Law for shorebirds and found Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Short-billed Dowitcher. Warblers were spotty but we did manage several Tennessee Warblers, a couple of Nashville Warblers, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler, a few American Redstarts, a Common Yellowthroat, and the first Mourning Warbler of the year (at the eastern edge of the Sparrow Hedge). Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes area were Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo (singing), Savannah Sparrow, and Grasshopper Sparrow. Huge numbers of Great Egret continue to be found congregated in Dusaf early in the morning and then appear to spread out to the other lakes later in the morning (Earlier in the month they were found in Lake Logo). Peter had some good birds earlier in the week (most in the Wilson campus area) including Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Common Nighthawk. Also seen this morning were Ruby-throated Hummingbird (same dead tree on the west edge of the Big Woods), Dickcissel, and Eastern Meadowlark. The best was yet to come. We found a family of Blue Grosbeaks and feel these birds have bred on site. This is only the second sighting of Blue Grosbeak within the Lab, the other being earlier this year (in April). Since these birds were with young they were quite agitated by our presence so we left them before we could get an accurate count of the number of the young grosbeaks. Dave

Thursday, August 16

The early morning birding today was slow even before the rain. It was dark (due to the heavy cloud cover) and this seemed to limit just about all activity and singing throughout the Sparrow Hedge area. Then the rains came and shut down the birds even more until late morning. The shorebirds did not seem to be affected by the early conditions but the Sea of Evanesence, being almost totally dry, had very few birds. Hopefully, today's rains will rejuvenate this area. Shorebirds seen in the remaining three lakes on the east side were Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Long-billed Dowitcher (same three were together again, this time in Dusaf). It was strange to not find any Great Egrets in the area, especially with their numbers increasing over the past several weeks. Then I went to Lake Logo (inside the Main Ring) to find 90-100 of them (I actually counted 90) in the ideal wading conditions there. Later, after the rains, the Great Egrets did move to other locations. This was by far the most egrets I have ever seen at Fermilab, especially in one spot. Two Osprey's were seen in the Main Injector nest area and one adult was found on the Nepese platform (after the rain). Several American Kestrels were in the Main Injector area and a Cooper's Hawk flew through the Hedge area. A Sedge Wren was still buzzing in the Switchgrass and a Dickcissel was near the Pine St. entrance. Finally, a couple of Great Horned Owls were out in the open in some dead trees apparently drying off after the rains. Dave

Sunday, August 12

Conditions were great this morning being mostly cloudy, cool with not much of a breeze. Many of the shorebirds of the last couple of weeks appeared to have moved on but still present were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and three Long-billed Dowitchers. These birds were spread throughout all of the east end lakes. Unfortunately, the Sea of Evanescence is just about dry and numbers here were way down. Hopefully tomorrows rains will improve its shorebird habitat. Several Henslow's Sparrows were still singing in the small field east of the Sea of Evanescence. All of the swallows were found over the lakes area including Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow and Barn Swallow. A surprise Northern Harrier flew across the southern end of A.E. Sea. Other interesting birds in the Sparrow Hedge area were Caspian Terns, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Bell's Vireo, Dickcissel, and Baltimore Oriole. Lots of herons and egrets were in the area including several Black-crowned Night-Herons and, the bird of the day, an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. The highlight of the week was the presence of a pair of Ospreys on the new nest platform at the southeast corner of Nepese marsh (just installed early this summer). Peter has observed the pair and it is independent of the currently nesting pair inside the Ring area. The pair appears to be a mature female and a second year male. They have been busy constructing a nest in anticipation of next year's breeding season, we hope. Dave

Sunday, August 5

Pleasantly cool temperatures, for the season, and a mild breeze made for great birding conditions this morning. Last night's rains changed the shorebird conditions somewhat by raising most water levels. Just about all the shorebirds were now concentrated on the Sea of Evanescence while the overall number of birds for the Lab appeared smaller than the last several visits. All the same shorebirds seen over the last week were present plus a year first Semipalmated Plover. Henslow's Sparrows were singing in the grass field south of the Sparrow Hedge. Finally, as we returned past Lake Law, two of the Ospreys were seen flying over the lake toward A.E.

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