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Recent Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Author: Peter Kasper

See the following link information concerning the Current Status of Access to Fermilab
Entries from past years .. '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '12
and past months .. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Year List: Contains the list of birds seen so far this year.
Seasonal List: The list of birds recorded on site at this time of year.
Recent entries ...Jan 17Jan 14Jan 11Jan 10Jan 9Jan 7Jan 4Dec 30
Dec 28Dec 27Dec 23Dec 16Dec 13Dec 14Dec 10Dec 7
Dec 3Dec 1Nov 30Nov 29Nov 26Nov 25Nov 24Nov 21
Nov 19Nov 17Nov 12Nov 10Nov 7Nov 6Nov 5Nov 2

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It was another cold morning in the Lab, starting out at around 0 deg. Again, as it slowly warmed, the wind increased to negate much increase in comfortability. The only waterfowl of interest were the regularly found Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Sparrows made a good showing with 6 species including American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (3-Ed Ctr. Feeders), a Song Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow (new for year), a White-crowned Sparrow (Ed Ctr. Feeders) and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds of note were a Great Blue Heron, a Cooper's Hawk (a small male, in the Village), Horned Larks (many locations, largest flock-40 plus) and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Dave

Sunday, January 14, 2018

With this morning's return of the cold temps (3 deg. to start), the bird activity and availability were again significantly reduced. None of the good birds found during the middle-of-the-week warm-up were found. As a matter of fact, as far as water birds go, the recently, regular coot was not to be found. The birds of interest were basically a one-liner. Those found were an American Crow, Horned Larks (several at the Buffalo Feeders) and Red-breasted Nuthatches (2-3). Dave

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Glenn made a two-part trip to the Lab this morning. The early fog and steady drizzle made him decide to go to breakfast after his initial visit, then return later to complete the morning. He did relocate the Tundra Swan, which appears to be moving around the Lab's open waters lately. His other waterfowl were the same as was found over the last week except for a Cackling Goose (possibly 2-3) which was new for the year. He did quite well with ground dwelling passerines including Horned Larks (9), Lapland Longspurs (3-another new one for the year) and Snow Buntings (6). These were all found in the north part of the Lab, sometimes associated with numbers of American Tree Sparrows. The highlights of his other bird finds were a Great Blue Heron and a Northern Harrier. Peter did a circuit of the Main Ring this morning also and added a Ross's Goose (new for the year, with only one sighting all of last year.) He also spotted a Northern Shrike. Dave

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Marcia and Gail experienced warmer temps this morning, but misty fog surely reduced visibility. Waterfowl were the same as Glenn witnessed yesterday, with a Tundra Swan, Common Goldeneyes, and Common Mergansers. Most likely the same American Coot was also found in the Injector Moat. Along with 35 Horned Larks, they found the first Snow Buntings (3) of the year in the northern portion of the Lab. Peter also reported finding Snow Buntings and an American Kestrel in the same area. He also added the first Cooper's Hawk of the year at the Ed Ctr. Feeders. Dave

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Glenn was in the Lab this morning but, despite the warm temps, his birding was hindered somewhat by the fog. Most of the Lab's waters were still covered by ice, still limiting the variety of waterfowl. He still came up with a number of very good birds, including 9 new species for the year. The new species found for the year were a Tundra Swan, Great Blue Herons (2), a Herring Gull, an American Kestrel, American Crows (3), a Northern Shrike, a Brown Creeper, American Robins and a White-crowned Sparrow. Other birds of interest were an American Black Duck, Common Goldeneyes (92), Common Mergansers (12), an American Coot, Red-breasted Nuthatches (9) and a Song Sparrow. I made an afternoon trip to the Lab that also produced some interesting results. I'm sure the warmer temps were a major factor in the much-increased bird activity from my last visits. Waterfowl of note were Common Goldeneye (60-70), Common Mergansers (about 20) and a Green-winged Teal (new for year). Other new birds for the year were a Great Horned Owl, a Belted Kingfisher and a Northern Flicker. Other birds of note were an American Coot, Horned Larks, American Crows, American Robins (15-20) and 2 Fox Sparrows (Ed Ctr. Feeders). Except for the Fox Sparrows, all other birds were found in the Ring areas. Dave

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Both the morning temps and winds ranged between the high teens to the low 20's today. This time it was the strong winds that seemed to suppress much of the bird activity. Waterfowl were unchanged from Thursday. Of interest were an American Black Duck (new/year,) Common Goldeneyes (around 20) and Common Mergansers (1 pr.). Other new birds for the year were an adult Bald Eagle (bird of the day), Red-tailed Hawks, an American Coot, Rock Pigeons, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a White-throated Sparrow (Ed. Ctr. Feeders). Also of note were Horned Larks (around 50 total found in several locations) and a Fox Sparrow (again at feeders). Dave

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Even with a later than normal start, the extremely cold temps (still below 0 at the time) kept bird activity suppressed. The birding activity did pick up but without any significant finds. Waterfowl diversity was again poor with only Canada Geese (400- 500), Mallards (about 50), Common Goldeneye (15-20) and Common Mergansers (1) found. The diminishing open water, no doubt, is the major cause for this reduction in numbers and diversity. Other than the Fox Sparrow found at the Ed Center Feeders, other sparrows found were the expected American Tree Sparrows, a Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Horned Larks (20-25) were found in small groups along the Northern Roads. Finally, only the common and expected birds were found including Mourning Doves, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, an European Starling, Northern Cardinals, House Finches, an American Goldfinch and House Sparrows. I only mention most of these common species because they are the first entries for the species this year. Dave

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bitter cold and fairly strong winds kept us in the car most of our short trip to the Lab this morning. The only highlight bird of the morning was a Northern Harrier flying in the Main Ring. Whereas Thursday was a good day for Dark-eyed Juncos, today it was American Tree Sparrows. We had a flock of these approaching 100 in number. Other birds of mention were a pair of American Black Ducks, several each Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers, an American Coot and a Hairy Woodpecker. Ironically, after all the good birds we had this year to fill Peter's Bird List, our last bird of the year was a Rock Pigeon. Dave

Thursday, December 28, 2017

It was cold this morning, but slightly warmer than the two previous days. No significant finds were made throughout the morning. The small amount of open water throughout the Lab only produced Canada Geese (400-500), Mallards, Common Goldeneyes (10-15), Common Mergansers (8-10) and a single American Coot. Other birds of note were a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers, an American Kestrel, Red-breasted Nuthatches (it still remains a good season for this species), an American Robin and a Song Sparrow. It was a good morning for Dark- eyed Juncos, found in good numbers in several locations. Dave

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

During his workday travels around the Lab today, Peter came up with the first birds for the last week of 2017 (also, this is the first year of his seventh, five-week period of recording birds at Fermilab (31 years)). The birds he found during his short trips were American Black Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, an American Kestrel and a White-crowned Sparrow. Dave

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Weather conditions were quite pleasant this morning with temps in the mid 20's during most of our visit. There were more Canada Geese found at Main Ring Lake this morning then was found throughout the Lab during last week's Christmas Bird Count. Other waterfowl found here and at other open waters around the Lab were Cackling Geese, American Black Ducks, a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. We found another Adult Bald Eagle (most likely the one being seen recently around the Lab), this time perched in a large tree in the Main Ring. Other bird highlights found around the Lab were a Great Blue Heron, several Herring Gulls, a Northern Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a Northern Shrike (in the Main Ring). Dave

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Today was the 2017 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) at Fermilab. The weather was fantastic being mostly sunny, with moderate winds and unbelievable temps (in the 40's most of the time). We ended up above the 20-year average of 49.55 birds with 56 bird species. This is now our second highest Fermilab CBC total; our highest total was 62 in 2015. Waterfowl were rather sparse due to the limited open water around the Lab. Those found were Greater White-fronted Geese (3), Cackling Geese (3), Canada Geese (1210- well below average), American Black Ducks (4), Mallards (93), a Redhead, Common Goldeneye (30-well below average) and Common Mergansers (126). Raptors were well represented with Bald Eagles (2, 1-adult and 1-immature), Northern Harriers (8), Sharp-shinned Hawks (2), Cooper's Hawks (3), Red-tailed Hawks (15), American Kestrels (3) and a Merlin (only the second Dec. sighting in the Lab). All the expected woodpeckers were found including Red-bellied Woodpeckers (24), Downy Woodpeckers (31), Hairy Woodpeckers (8) and Northern Flickers (1). The final significant group of the day were the sparrows which included American Tree Sparrows (178-below average), Fox Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows (15), Swamp Sparrows (8), White-throated Sparrows (8) and Dark-eyed Juncos (68-below average). Two of the most significant finds were a Northern Saw-whet Owl (heard later in the evening which was also a Lab first) and an Eastern Phoebe (which was a first CBC and December sighting in the Lab). There was also a considerable list of other significant finds including Great Blue Herons (7), a Wilson's Snipe, Great Horned Owls (8), a Short-eared Owl, a Belted Kingfisher, a Northern Shrike (first of the season), American Crows (10-highest number in 15 years), Red-breasted Nuthatches (26-highest CBC count in the Lab), Brown Creepers (3), Golden-crowned Kinglets, (2), Eastern Bluebirds (2), a Lapland Longspur, Red-winged Blackbirds (3), a Brown-headed Cowbird and Pine Siskins (12-well above average). There were several quiet periods during the day's count, but in the end the results were quite remarkable. Dave

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Glenn was in the Lab early this morning and had a fantastic run on Great Horned Owls, finding 7 in various locations around the Lab. In addition, he heard a Barred Owl calling at dawn. He completed the morning finding a number of other interesting birds including an American Black Duck, Common Goldeneyes, a Great Blue Heron, Horned Larks, Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Brown Creeper and a Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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

Friday, November 10, 2017

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

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

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