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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 ...May 25May 24May 22May 21May 19May 17May 14May 13
May 12May 9May 7May 6May 5May 3May 1Apr 29
Apr 28Apr 26Apr 22Apr 19Apr 15Apr 13Apr 12Apr 8
Apr 5Apr 4Apr 2Mar 29Mar 27Mar 25Mar 22Mar 21

Monday, May 25, 2015

Denis was out this morning in the wind and rain, which did affect the birds. First of all he had an immature Bald Eagle flying over the south end of A.E. Sea. He was amazed at the third Osprey nest, especially being so close to Nest 1. Other birds he found during the morning were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, American Kestrel, Caspian Tern, Bell's Vireo (singing-Sparrow Hedge area), Horned Lark and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The morning was quite pleasant (except for the gnats and mosquitoes) with warm temps, a slight breeze, overcast skies and occasional sprinkles. Peter had a couple of Caspian Terns over A.E. Sea. All our other birding was done in out-of -the-way locations with not a lot to show for our efforts. Some of the interesting finds were Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher (several locations - good showing for them this year), American Crow (again they seem sparse), Cedar Waxwing, Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole (a pair performing mating displays). Again, the highlight was the activity at Osprey Nest 3 near the Main Injector. The nest has more than tripled in size since Friday. It's amazing how quickly the process has progressed in such a short time. On top of this we witnessed copulation by this pair a short distance from the nest. Lastly, one of the guards reported a Bald Eagle last week. Dave

Friday, May 22, 2015

The weather was great for monitoring grassland birds this morning. It was sunny and mild with minimal wind. First of all the big news of the day was that there is now a third nesting pair of Osprey in the Lab. The nest is now under construction on the north end of the Main Injector Ring. I had seen an Osprey on this particular power pole on Tuesday. It remained on this pole for over half an hour during the time I was in the area. Initially I thought it was the male bird from the Main Injector Nest 1 since the pole is only about one third of a mile from Nest 1. In the same area this morning an Osprey flew overhead with a good size stick. Sure enough it flew to this same pole where its mate was waiting to put it into place in the starter nest. Earlier in the morning, during the monitoring session, the only key grassland species found were a sparse number of Henslow's Sparrows (4) and a good showing of Bobolinks (49). The other highlight of the morning was finding three female Hooded Mergansers with five chicks in the same wooded pond on the west side where they had been observed for the last several weeks. Some of the other birds of interest for the morning were Great Horned Owl, Alder Flycatcher (singing-Spr. Hedge), Bell's Vireo (singing-Spr. Hedge), Horned Lark, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler (new-only migrant warbler found), Vesper Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrows (again singing A.E. Sea). Dave

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First of all, Marcia and Gail were out yesterday Wed. May 20 to do their regular monitoring. Their highlight was a very late Wilson's Snipe. The only migrant warbler they found was a Tennessee Warbler. Other birds of note were Green Heron (2), more Cedar Waxwings, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Bobolinks, and an Orchard Oriole. They also reported that the female American Kestrel was now outside the nest box near the security office. Today Glenn was in for a short time and reported a singing male Blue Grosbeak in the Sparrow Hedge area. He also found a Purple Finch, the only swallow I missed on Tuesday. He had a Lesser Yellowlegs at Dusaf and again the only warbler he reported was a Tennessee Warbler. Dave

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The morning was cool and overcast with a substantial wind. There was a fair number of Swamp Sparrows and Marsh Wrens singing in the marshy margins around A.E. Sea along with a Sora. Sedge Wrens are still singing in several locations in the Hedge area. Other birds in the Hedge area were Chimney Swifts, an Alder Flycatcher, a Bell's Vireo (new-singing), a White-throated Sparrow and Baltimore Orioles (several singing). Dusaf was loaded with swallows including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows (good numbers of all). Both Osprey nests are still active with the females in place. Seen in the Big Woods area were Cedar Waxwings (a group of about 20 birds), a Gray-cheeked Thrush (new), and, the only migrant warblers of the day, an American Redstart and two Tennessee Warblers. Lastly, the female American Kestrel was now standing guard above the Main Injector nest box. Hopefully this means hatchlings are inside. Dave

Sunday, May 17, 2015

This morning was warm, overcast, with an occasional light shower and mild wind. First we headed to the south end of A.E. Sea looking for the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. It was in the same location as Thursday and Saturday. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were singing Alder Flycatchers (2-new), singing Willow Flycatchers (several), Cedar Waxwings, and singing Sedge Wrens. There were also Blue-winged Teal on A.E. Sea. Except for the expected breeding Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers, migrant warblers were virtually nonexistent. It was quite depressing that on what should be just past mid season for warbler migration none were to be found. The only other birds worthy of mention were several Turkey Vultures, a Cooper's Hawk and several Henslow's Sparrows. Also, I just learned that Glenn had an Olive-sided Flycatcher near A.E. Sea on Friday. Dave

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The morning started out cool and comfortable with mild winds. It remained cloudy most of the time while the winds picked up from the NE, again having some minor effect on the birds. Waterfowl were pretty much gone from the Eastern Lakes. Wood Ducks are still in the wet woodlands. The pond that had the pair of Hooded Mergansers last week today had a male and three females. A.E. Sea and Dusaf produced more shorebirds today including several Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpiper (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (1), and Least Sandpipers (over a dozen Pectoral Sandpiper yesterday). Warblers were not abundant though there were several small groups and nine species were found. A Nashville was new for the week and one of the birds of the day, a Canada Warbler (new), was found in Main Ring Woods. Over a dozen Chimney Swifts were flying over Dusaf. A resting Common Nighthawk (new) flushed from a small tree and flew into the Sparrow Hedge. There was a nice mix of flycatchers in Owl's Nest Woods including a Least Flycatcher. There was also another Veery there. Willow Flycatchers are in and were singing in several locations. Sedge Wrens were found in two separate location and Marsh Wrens at south Lake Law. A Broad-winged Hawk (new) was heard calling about half way down the Sparrow Hedge. It flushed and flew west down the Hedge. The two highlight sparrows of the morning were several Henslow's Sparrows and a Clay-colored Sparrow (new) (possibly two) originally found by Glenn. Two other good birds for the morning were a Tufted Titmouse (new) (Main Ring Woods) and another Red-headed Woodpecker (Big Woods). After a couple of days and several reports, it appears that the female Osprey on the Nepese nest is truly brooding eggs. Glenn spent the day in the Lab and added many good birds including one great one, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (new). This is only the second bird of this species found at the Lab (the last was June 2014). In the Big Woods, he had a Black-billed Cuckoo (new) singing, as were Northern Parula (new), Black-throated Green Warbler and Tennessee Warbler. Among the approximate dozen warblers he found Magnolia Warbler (new) and Wilson's Warbler (new) were new for the week, both in Sparrow Hedge. There is still a male Ring-necked Pheasant surviving the coyotes. No additional shorebirds were found but he did have a Sora. A couple of late Northern Harriers, a Cooper's Hawk and Vesper Sparrow rounded out his new birds for the week. At AE Sea, there was a female Ruddy Duck, Common Nighthawks, Black Tern (new), Forster's Tern (new), a Purple Martin, a Bank Swallow and a pair of Sandhill Cranes. He had a total of 102 species for the day. Finally, Penny Kasper had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Barred Owl yesterday (Tuesday). Dave

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Marcia and Gail were at the Lab this morning and added some good birds to the week's list. First they had three birds that were missed on last Saturday's Spring Count starting with two Green Herons. Then two birds that were also new for the year, a Yellow-throated Vireo and an Ovenbird. Some of their other highlights were Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Northern Waterthrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Bobolink. They also noted that the female Osprey was again sitting on the nest as if brooding. Dave

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The morning was cold, overcast and windy. The strong wind was the major factor effecting the birds; out of the wind birding was best. Some waterfowl are still hanging around the Eastern Lakes including Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal (1), and Ruddy Ducks (3). Wood Ducks were seen, but in the wet woodlands elsewhere. The only shorebirds were a couple of Solitary Sandpipers and several Least Sandpipers. Sparrow numbers today were well below those found on the SBC. In the Sparrow Hedge were Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Elsewhere were Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrows. In a nice, out-of-the-wind area (near the Sparrow Hedge), I found a group of warblers including Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler (new), Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler (still most numerous), Blackpoll Warbler (new) and American Redstart. Found elsewhere were Golden-winged Warbler (new), Tennessee Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler and Black-and-White Warbler. An immature Bald Eagle was flying over the Lakes Region followed by a Red-winged Blackbird. Walking back along the L.Law berm, an Osprey was seen fighting the wind above the lake's edge. It dropped several levels before diving into the water and coming up with a 1 to 2 pound carp. Struggling a while to get altitude, it finally veered off toward the Nepese nest. In the afternoon, one of the Osprey was on the perch above the Nepese nest while it appeared the female was nestled into the nest possibly brooding. We'll see? Other birds of interest were Soras, a Virginia Rail, Red-headed Woodpecker (Spr.H), Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager (several), Orchard Oriole and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Today was the Spring Bird Count. Though not optimum, the weather was quite nice. Although, the overcast skies did impair the ID of birds high in the canopy, and the afternoon wind had some minor effect on birds. We squeaked out 99 species for the day. I say squeaked because of the only 14 species of warblers found about half were only single birds late in the day. It is respectable though since the average Fermi SBC is 91.3 species. There were still some waterfowl to be found including Wood Duck (1), Gadwall (2), Blue-winged Teal (8), Northern Shoveler (7), and Ruddy Duck (1). A lone Wild Turkey was again near the Garden Club. Only three of the nesting Osprey were found; the one male was probably out hunting. Raptors were poorly represented with only Red-tailed Hawks (3) and American Kestrels (2) found. We did well on rails with Soras (10) and a Virginia Rail. Shorebirds were somewhat of a disappointment. Seen were Spotted Sandpipers (6), Solitary Sandpipers (7), Least Sandpipers (18), a Pectoral Sandpiper (new), Wilson's Snipe (2), and Killdeer (11-my favorite was a juvenile with parent). We did get the Barred Owl but only one Great Horned Owl (both nests had emptied). My highlight for the day was watching over 70 Chimney Swifts buzzing, both high and low, over the Sparrow Hedge area for over a half an hour. There were no exciting flycatchers. Those found were Eastern Wood-Pewee (2-new), Eastern Phoebe (2), Great Crested Flycatcher (2), and Eastern Kingbird 8). No transient vireos were found only Warbling Vireos (7-new) and Red-eyed Vireos (4), both breeders. Quite a few swallows were around. Of note was a Purple Martin and two Bank Swallows. Warblers were a disappointment with only 14 species including Northern Waterthrush (4), Golden-winged Warbler (1-new), Black-and-white Warbler (1), Tennessee Warbler (4), Nashville Warbler (1), Common Yellowthroat(24), American Redstart (2), Cape May Warbler (1-new), Bay-breasted Warbler (1-new), Blackburnian Warbler (1-new), Yellow Warbler (21), Palm Warbler (61), Yellow-rumped Warbler (47), and Black-throated Green Warbler (1-new). Sparrows were pretty much as expected with Chipping Sparrow (1), Field Sparrows (19), Savannah Sparrows (13), Song Sparrows (12), Lincoln's Sparrows (2), Swamp Sparrows (29), White-throated Sparrows (22), White-crowned Sparrows (31) and a bonus of two Grasshopper Sparrows. Orioles were well represented with 15 Baltimore Orioles and 7 Orchard Orioles. Other highlight birds found were Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1-new), Red-headed Woodpecker, (1-new) Sedge Wren (1), Veery (2), Swainson's Thrush (3), Scarlet Tanager (3), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2), and Bobolink (6-new). Dave

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It was a beautiful summer morning, a little over a month early. Winds increased later in the morning and did have some affect on the bird activity. The waterfowl in the Lakes Region were about the same but, again, fewer in number. Many of the other birds were the same as found over the last couple of days. I'll list highlights and exceptions. First was a Sedge Wren in a small field in the Sparrow Hedge area (earliest found in several years). There were 8 warbler species found , mostly Yellow-rumps and Palms but nothing new. The only shorebird was a Spotted Sandpiper (disturbing). Another highlight was several Grasshopper Sparrows in one of the grassland bird monitoring locations. The Nepese Osprey couple were again together on the perch. Dave Shemanske observed these Osprey's copulating again later in the morning. The female Osprey in the Main Injector was again diligently sitting on her nest. Both owlets from the nest inside the Main Ring have fledged. Other birds found this morning were a couple of Turkey Vultures, an adult Bald Eagle (soaring on the west side), a male American Kestrel (by nest box in Main Inj.), Marsh Wren (new), another Veery, and several Scarlet Tanagers (new). The bird of the day was found by Mark Donnelly. He found a Northern Mockingbird in the Ed Center parking lot. There have been only five previous sightings, the last in 2012. Glenn Perricone had some additions to the list including several Gadwall, and both a Solitary Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper at Dusaf. He also had Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Scarlet Tanager, Henslow's Sparrow (new) and Vesper Sparrow. He once again found the Barred Owl and added Black-throated Green Warbler for the year. Dave

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Marcia and Gail were out this morning in the Main Ring and Injector areas. They had many of the same birds I had yesterday in addition to a couple of Spotted Sandpipers and several new year birds for the Lab. The new birds were Green Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and the bird of the day a Grasshopper Sparrow. I'm hoping more of these show up because I have a monitor point nearby and they have been absent in the area for several years. Dave

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Birds are on the move. Thirteen new (year) Lab birds were found today. Once the rains diminished it became a very pleasant and rewarding day of birding. The Nepese Ospreys put on an interesting show today. Starting early, they were together on the perch above the nest. Later they were again copulating on the nest. Then in the Garden Club an Osprey circled the area and landed in the corn field, picked up some corn husks and flew toward the nest. Finally, passing by the nest about 10 minutes later, one Osprey was working on the nest while the other just landed on the perch with a fish. Waterfowl are thinning out in the Lakes Region. Found were small numbers of Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Other water birds were Pied-billed Grebe, Sora, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper. Sparrows found were Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow (new) none in large quantities. Much activity was provided by lots of both Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers along the Hedge. Other birds in the area were Cooper's Hawk, Least Flycatcher (new), Eastern Kingbird (new), Bank Swallow (new), Gray Catbird (new), Yellow Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. There was good sparrow activity in the Garden Club most of it by many White-crowned Sparrows. Interestingly, in the G.C. I watched a House Wren fend off a House Sparrow while its mate carried nesting material into a flowerpot bird house. The sparrow then receded. Birds found in other locations around the Lab including several new year birds were Wood Duck, Great Crested Flycatcher (new), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Veery (new), Swainson's Thrush (new), Nashville Warbler (new), American Redstart (new), Northern Waterthrush (new), Lincoln's Sparrow (new), Rusty Blackbird and Baltimore Oriole (new). Dave

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Denis was the only one out birding this weekend. His highlight was witnessing the Nepese Ospreys copulating. This is the first, to my knowledge, observation of intimacy between this pair of birds. This is an excellent sign; we'll just have to wait and see if this leads to success at our 2nd Osprey nest. Shorebirds are showing more diversity with Spotted Sandpiper (new), Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper and Wilson's Snipe. He also reported Soras. Waterfowl appear to be at a status quo from recent visits. Multiple Cooper's Hawks were again seen. Finally, he had another new arrival, a Cliff Swallow. Where are the Warblers? The early arrivers are a week or two behind schedule. Dave

Friday, May 1, 2015

It was another beautiful morning for birding with a slight chill to start but again warming quickly. The slight wind had no affect on the birds. Most of the same birds found throughout the week were found today with the following exceptions. First, there were a couple of Greater Yellowlegs in the north A.E. Sea mud flats. There were only about half the Ruddy Ducks (6) on Lake Law as earlier in the week. Yellow Warblers have made it back to the Sparrow Hedge Area -- many were singing today. The number of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers increased but only slightly. A pair of Cooper's Hawks were soaring high and interacting near the Nepese Osprey nest. There was a nice group of White-throated Sparrows (10-12) in Main Ring Woods. The pair of Hooded Mergansers were still in the same remote quiet pond on the west side as they were over a week ago. The Ospreys provided some interesting observations this morning. First, at the Nepese nest at 7:00, there was a single bird. At 9:00 both birds were at the nest. Then, as I leaving about 12:30, the nest was empty. At the Main Injector Nest both birds were on the nest when a third Osprey tried to land. This interloper was chased off by the male (assuming), but it just circled the nest area. The nesting male returned to the nest while the interloper circled closer and made one more attempt at landing but then gave up and flew off. A guess would be that this was a previous offspring trying to return? Dave

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another beautiful morning for Marcia and Gail to monitor inside the Main and Injector Rings and some east side locations. Many of the birds were the same as seen yesterday on the 28th. They accounted for all four Ospreys in both nest areas. They had a Yellow Warbler, the first of the year, but interestingly no other warblers. For shorebirds there were a pair of Killdeer in a past nesting area, two Solitary Sandpipers and a Lesser Yellowlegs. They also found a Pied-billed Grebe, which I missed yesterday. Also, the male of the Hooded Merganser pair on the east side was doing courtship displays on Dusaf Pond. Dave

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This morning's weather was just about perfect. There was a slight chill to start, but the cloudless skies and almost nonexistent wind allowed the temps to climb quickly. The birdlife was almost the same as Sunday but with much more activity. With today's conditions and the warming over the next several days, we should be getting many more migrants quite soon. Waterfowl in the Lakes Region included Gadwall, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead (2 pair - L.Law), Hooded Mergansers (Pair - L.Law) and Ruddy Ducks (about 15 - L.Law). Other birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Double-crested Cormorants, a Sora, American Coots, Northern Flickers, an Eastern Towhee, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. About the only change from Sunday was an influx of Savannah Sparrows. Several were singing in the Garden Club and many other locations throughout the LAB. Two Osprey were on the Nepese nest this morning; one on the perch feeding on a fish and the second working on the nest which is really starting to take shape. Three low flying Sandhill Cranes were observed flying from the South Eola Rd area north and landed near East Wilson Rd. Other birds found in the Lab this morning were Wood Duck (wet woodlots), Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier (Fem - Main Ring), Cooper's Hawk (2), Solitary Sandpiper (Horse Wallow), Great Horned Owl, Eastern Phoebe, House Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, April 26, 2015

There was a slight chill in the air to start but the sunny conditions made it quite pleasant. The north wind did cool things further if you were exposed to it. This may have had some effect on the birds (especially the singing breeding birds). Many of the same waterfowl from recent visits were found in the Lakes Region including Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal. Interestingly, several divers were found after being absent for several visits including several Lesser Scaup, a Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers (pair) and Ruddy Ducks. Also found in the Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebe, Great Egret, Sora (new), American Coot and Greater Yellowlegs. Other birds found in the area were Northern Harrier, American Crows (several groups), Blue Jays (above average number), Horned Larks, Brown Thrashers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Osprey update: Nepese Nest had one Osprey early and was later joined by another Osprey hunting over Dusaf Pond. The Main Injector Nest was status quo with the female still brooding the eggs. Also status quo was the Great Horned Owl nest inside the Main Ring with both owlets looking bigger and healthy. Other birds found around the Lab were Wood Duck, Wild Turkey (new, last seen 2013), Turkey Vulture, Sandhill Cranes (2 pair in different locations), Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Eastern Phoebe, House Wren (new), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm Warbler (new) and Rusty Blackbird. On a quick trip around the Lab on Friday (Apr. 24) Glenn found several new year birds including Chimney Swifts, a Red-headed Woodpecker, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a Common Yellowthroat. Dave

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The morning started out cold, windy, overcast and, yes, with a touch of snow. The only change through the morning was an increase in the northwest winds. It did seem that these conditions did have some affect on the passerines. A brisk walk (meaning both the walk and the temps) through the Sparrow Hedge area did not produce anything remarkable. First of all the waterfowl in the Eastern Lakes (again mostly in A.E. Sea) were Wood Ducks (several here and several in just about every wet woodland visited around the Lab), Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. There were still about a dozen American Coots at the south end of A.E. Sea. Passerines found in the Hedge area were Barn Swallows, Brown Thrashers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Eastern Towhees (as well as many other locations in the Lab), American Tree Sparrows (2-3), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows (most abundant spr.), Swamp Sparrows and a Dark-eyed Junco (1). The Nepese Osprey nest was empty during several visits from about 7:00am to 1:00pm. An interesting find was a pair of Hooded Mergansers in a secluded woodland pond. Could this be a third Lab breeding pair? The Female Osprey on the Main Injector nest is definitely brooding eggs and was seen getting up, readjusting the eggs then settling down again. She did this a couple of times while I watched. Other birds seen were an American Kestrel (perched above a nest box at the north end of the Injector Ring), Great Horned Owls (6 including the 4 owlets in nests), a Hairy Woodpecker, Tree Swallows, Hermit Thrushs, Chipping Sparrows (new) and Purple Finchs (new - 2 males on far west side of Lab). Marcia and Gail also added some interesting birds today from the Main and Injector Ring areas including Turkey Vulture (2 flyovers), an Osprey on the Nepese nest (I guess timing is everything), a pair of American Kestrels, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Bluebirds and a Brewer's Blackbird (new for the year). And, as I also noticed, there is still a large number of both American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds throughout the Lab. Dave

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another mild, calm, mostly sunny morning greeted us. Later an increase in wind from the east had only a minor affect on the birds. Most of the diver ducks appear to have moved north. Waterfowl found in the Lakes Region were Wood Duck, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and a single Lesser Scaup. Both Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots were also present. There was not a lot of activity in the Sparrow Hedge area and several birds were heard but not seen. Some of the birds found here were Ruby-crowned Kinglet (new), Brown Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow (again most prevalent sparrow) and White-throated Sparrow. A solitary Solitary Sandpiper (new) was on the west side of DUSAF Pond. There was only one Osprey found at the Nepese nest. It may be that the female at the Main Injector nest has started brooding; hard to tell for sure. The male was on a nearby power pole. As we approached the Great Horned Owl nest inside the Main Ring, the female flushed as the two, quite large grayish owlets moved about the nest. Some of the other birds found during the morning were American Kestrel, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Towhee. Also during the morning, breeding was confirmed for Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker and Eastern Bluebird. Dave

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

There were more mild temps and sunny skies to start the morning. It warmed up quite fast as did the wind; neither factor had much affect on the birds. The big news of the day was that the Nepese Osprey nest now has two residents. Starting out this morning at 7:00 there was one Osprey on the nest. At 8:30 the bird was gone but had returned by 9:10. Then on my way out at 1:00, two birds were finally together on the nest. Once again please respect the barricades at the Nepese entrance. Waterfowl found in the Lakes Region were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck. Also found in the A.E. Sea area were American Coots, a Sora (new, early arrival) and, the bird of the day, a single American White Pelican (new, early arrival). Highlights of the birds in the Sparrow Hedge Area were Northern Flickers, a Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrashers, Yellow-rumped Warblers (new - flock of 7-8 birds), American Tree Sparrows (few), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (most numerous sparrow), Eastern Towhee, and Red-winged Blackbirds (A flock of about 75-80 birds. All but 2 or 3 were females). The Garden Club was not too active, but there was a singing Eastern Phoebe, both Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows and four Sandhill Cranes (these cranes appeared to be in the adjacent cornfield, flushed and flew east). Both Great Horned Owl nests still have two healthy owlets each. Other birds found were a Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawks (1 inside Main Ring and 1 in Big Woods), a Wilson's Snipe, American Crows (Big Woods), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (new) and Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Monday, April 13, 2015

More news on the Osprey front today from Ryan. He spotted three Ospreys soaring above the Main Injector nest while another Osprey remained on the nest. This means at least four Ospreys are in the area. Hopefully, this will possibly lead to a second active nest in the Lab, especially with the news from yesterday of an Osprey on Nest 2 at Nepese Marsh. Dave

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The day started out mild with the temps rising through the morning, but the wind picked up a little past mid-morning to cancel out some of the heat. There still is a fair number of waterfowl around the Lakes Region with the majority on A.E. Sea. Species seen were Canada Geese, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback (1 - A.E.S), Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead (mostly females) and Ruddy Duck. A good number of American Coots and several Pied-billed Grebes remain in A.E. Sea. Some of the other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were an Osprey (circling L. Law), a Cooper's Hawk (flyover), a Caspian Tern (new - a flyover from A.E. Sea area past Lake Law), Brown Thrasher (new - many singing throughout area), Field Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. The exciting news of the morning was that there was an Osprey on Nest 2 at Nepese marsh. Now we can only hope that a mate will show up. Please heed the closure barricade at the Nepese entrance. There was a fair amount of activity again at the Garden Club. The highlights here were an intently singing Eastern Phoebe, American Tree Sparrows (just a few), Vesper Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos (few more than the Tree Sparrows), and a Rusty Blackbird. The first shorebirds of the season were 1 or 2 Lesser Yellowlegs and 6 or 7 Greater Yellowlegs found at the Swenson Road Horse Wallow. Also found during the morning were an American Kestrel, a Herring Gull and a Great Horned Owl (nests were not visited). Dave

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Despite the cool conditions (for the season), mild fog and moderate wind, birding this morning was quite enjoyable. Starting with A.E. Sea, there were still a good number of American Coots as well as a few Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks. Blue-winged Teal were added at the Sea of Evanescence. Owl's Nest Woods produced a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers and the first Hermit Thrush of the year. Other interesting birds in the Sparrow Hedge area were Northern Flickers (many throughout), Eastern Phoebes, American Tree Sparrows (in lesser numbers), Swamp Sparrows and Fox Sparrows. In addition, there were many Golden-crowned Kinglets here and literally throughout the Lab; more than I have ever seen or heard in one day at the Lab. Returning to the Red Barn a Bonaparte's Gull (bird of the Day) flew from Lake Law to A.E. Sea. A pair of Green-winged Teal were added at Dusaf. The Garden Club had good activity but nothing too exciting. Starting with a flyover Great Egret, there was still a good number of Dark-eyed Juncos, some Eastern Bluebirds and more Hermit Thrushes and Fox Sparows. The Cooper's Hawk nest found earlier was all but confirmed with the male found guarding the area and calling. Being that that the nest is in a stand of pines, I did not want to enter and disturb the pair. Both Great Horned Owl nests have produced a pair of owlets, with the young in the Main Ring nest being noticeably larger. In addition, there was quite a difference in size between these two birds. Both Injector Nest Ospreys were feeding near the nest. Finally, three Turkey Vultures were circling near Giese Rd. Dave

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Today Peter and Glenn covered the Lab but, as Peter said about the morning, "He expected more land bird activity". Starting at A.E. Sea they had Northern Shovelers displaying while Wood Ducks were also found. A couple of Pied-billed Grebes were still on Lake Law. The Osprey's mate showed up and later in the day Peter witnessed them copulating. They also relocated the Barred Owl. The first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the year was found along with a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets. Along East Wilson Rd. there were several singing Vesper Sparrows and a Horned Lark. Dave

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Glenn had a waterfowl based trip today (Sat.). They had 13 species highlighted by Gadwall, American Black Duck, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Duck. They also came up with some other nice birds highlighted by several Pied-billed Grebes, a Turkey Vulture (flyover), an Osprey (near the Main Injector nest), a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Rough-legged Hawk (Dark morph), a Horned Lark, a Barn Swallow (new), Tree Sparrows, a Field Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow and a Pine Siskin. Dave

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The light rain this morning blurred the optics limiting visibility but there was not much to see on the waters of the Lakes Region. A.E. Sea provided several Lesser Scaup, a couple of Bufflehead, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes (new), and an increased number of American Coots. Lake Law had both Common Merganser and Hooded Mergansers. Other birds in the area of these lakes were many singing Field Sparrows (new), a Bald Eagle (adult, sheltering itself in a tree on the west side of Lake Law), a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Phoebe, and several Eastern Meadowlarks. The rain soon diminished providing a quite enjoyable morning for birding. Two different swings by Dusaf provided Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Wood Ducks and a Green-winged Teal. Rounding out the waterfowl for the morning were about a dozen Ruddy Ducks at Main Ring Lake and at the Main Injector Moat were a Greater Scaup and three Redheads. The sparrows are finally on the move. This was quite evident in the Garden Club and many other locations. Found in the Garden Club were American Tree Sparrows (2-3), Field Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows (new), Savannah Sparrows (new), Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos (large number). A Sharp-shinned Hawk flushed from one of the trees and headed north. The highlight of the morning was the return of one of the Ospreys to the Main Injector nest. Hopefully the mate will return soon. Other birds for the morning were another (or the same) adult Bald Eagle (inside the Ring), Turkey Vulture, Hairy Woodpecker, several Northern Flickers (new arrivals), Tree Swallows, and lots of American Robins (especially feeding in the burned areas). Both Great Horned Owl nests remain with the females sitting high. Finally, a Barred Owl was reported after not being seen for almost a year. Dave

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another cool start to the morning with little improvement as the day progressed. The wind again was a major factor. The first bird of the morning was an immature Bald Eagle at the north end of Lake Law. There again appeared to be a dip in the quantity of waterfowl from a few days ago. The wind made it very uncomfortable to view birds on A.E. Sea and Lake Law, but we did manage Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Red-breasted Mergansers. Added inside the Ring area were Redhead, Common Goldeneye and Ruddy Duck. The bird of the day was a Common Loon spotted by Peter later on Lake Law. Some other birds found were Double-crested Cormorant, Green-winged Teal, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, and Horned Lark. One of the more interesting sightings that I found later was a gimpy Sandhill Crane wading the north end of A.E. Sea. One of its legs appeared to be swollen at the joint causing it to limp as it walked then twitching this leg as if trying to shake free from something (possibly fish line). Dave

Friday, March 27, 2015

This morning Peter spotted the first Great Egret of the year at Swan Lake on his way to work. Sounds like there was still a good number of waterfowl around like Wednesday according to Glenn's Friday list with highlights of six Canvasbacks (again on A.E. Sea), more Greater Scaup (also on A.E. Sea) and several Red-breasted Mergansers (Lake Law). It appears Great Blue Herons are beginning to show up more regularly; Glenn had four today. Raptors were well represented with a Northern Harrier, American Kestrel and three Great Horned Owls including the female on the Buffalo Savanna nest. Dave

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This morning it was cool, windy, and overcast with a touch of fog. Conditions did not improve throughout the morning mostly due to the wind. Lake Law had about 100 Common Mergansers, about 35 Ring-necked Ducks, 10-15 Hooded Mergansers, several Lesser Scaup and an American Coot. At the water inlet from Lake Law, A.E. Sea had a pair of Blue-winged Teal and a pair of American Black Ducks along with many Mallards. I had another pleasant hike in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. There was quite a bit of activity but again nothing remarkable. Additional waterfowl found in A.E. Sea included Gadwall and Greater Scaup. All these lakes were well above normal levels with Lake Law almost over its banks in the southeast corner and the Sea of Evanescence the highest I have ever seen it. Interestingly, Evanescence had large numbers of divers and just about no dabblers. Todays list increased by Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye here. Among the singing birds in the Sparrow Hedge were American Robins, Song Sparrows, Northern Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbirds and a lone Fox Sparrow. Some of the other birds found in the area were Hairy Woodpecker (pair in Owl Nest Woods), American Tree Sparrows (again large numbers at south end of A.E. Sea), Common Grackle (Pair), and a Brown-headed Cowbird. Main Ring Lake again had a low bird count but a Redhead added to the days waterfowl list. Several Horned Larks were nearby on Ring Road. Swenson Road horse paddock produced a male Green-winged Teal. As I approached Great Horned Owl nest 1 inside the Ring, the male flushed overhead while the female observed me from around her tail. Nothing new was found in the Injector Moats but a male American Kestrel was in the area. Indian Creek woods had several Wood Ducks, a flyover Rusty Blackbird and about ten low flying Sandhill Cranes. Glenn also added three Canvasbacks (A.E. Sea) and seven Ruddy Ducks to today's Waterfowl list. Dave

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Again it was a cool start to the morning but this time it did not warm up. As a matter of fact the wind seemed to make it cooler throughout the morning, depending upon your location. We were unpleasantly surprised to see the waterfowl numbers well down from recent visits even though all the waters of the Lab were now open. Dusaf provided Mallards, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, and Green-winged Teal. At Lake Law we added Common Merganser and Hooded Merganser. As we viewed the sparse birds in Main Ring Lake, a juvenile Peregrine Falcon zoomed low across the lake from over our shoulders. It was difficult to follow, as falcons can be, but it was made more difficult by the background of trees on the opposite side of the lake. It then climbed and flew up and away from us to the west. The Main Injector Moat provided an American Coot and some additional divers including Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead. The north end of A.E. Sea again had a large number of Mallards and a pair of both Wood Ducks and American Black Ducks. A pair of American Kestrels were observed going in and out of a kestrel box on the northern portion of the Main Injector Ring. This area also produced a flyby Sharp-shinned Hawk. Out of a fairly large flock of blackbirds far out in a field along East Wilson Rd., only Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles could be confirmed. Eastern Meadowlarks could also be heard nearby. Denis' group added some interesting birds including Double-crested Cormorant (new), Greater Scaup, Eastern Phoebe (new), American Crow, Tree Swallow (new), Brown Creeper, and Eastern Bluebird. Dave

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Glen came up with some good birds while we were away around the beginning of the month. Here's a list of the highlights. On Feb. 27th he had an immature Bald Eagle and on March 6th a Lapland Longspur. On Mar. 8th he had an impressive list with highlights including a Peregrine Falcon (Wilson Hall area), a couple of American Kestrels (Main Ring and Injector areas) and, in the Village, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Brown Creeper, Cedar Waxwings and Pine Siskins. Dave

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