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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 ...Jun 28Jun 24Jun 21Jun 17Jun 14Jun 10Jun 8Jun 7
Jun 4Jun 3May 31May 28May 27May 25May 24May 22
May 21May 19May 17May 14May 13May 12May 9May 7
May 6May 5May 3May 1Apr 29Apr 28Apr 26Apr 22

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It was another very nice morning (warm, sunny with no wind) for birding with mosquitoes, again, the only downside. In the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region we had Caspian Terns, Chimney Swifts, a Bell's Vireo, a Sedge Wren, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings and Baltimore Orioles (a family). The North Roads and associated Fuddles produced a Blue-winged Teal, American Kestrels, a Sora, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers, more Caspian Terns, Vesper Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows. Found elsewhere were several Turkey Vultures and Henslow's Sparrows. The two chicks in Osprey Nest 1 are noticeably larger. We finally spotted a chick in Nest 2 and possibly a second. Nest 3 is looking more and more like a failed attempt with the female at the side of the nest watching over her failed young (assumed). On the plus side, both adults remain very loyal to this nest. Finally, Denis' group reported a Cooper's Hawk carrying prey and a Grasshopper Sparrow carrying food (most likely to young). Also, Glen in earlier in the week had many of these same birds. Dave

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It was time for another grassland survey and the weather was perfect for the survey as well as the mosquitoes; they were unrelenting. Skies were overcast and temps were perfect with very little wind through most of the morning. Some of the grassland species numbers were down from the survey conducted earlier in the month, most notability Sedge Wrens (10 earlier to 3 recent) and Bobolinks (26 earlier to 17 recent. Last year we had 29.). Most others were even although lower than same time last year. I'm wondering if the wet fields account for the lower numbers? There was one Grasshopper Sparrow. Some of the other interesting sightings were the Ruddy Duck (still at Sea of E), a Bald Eagle (probably a 3rd year bird with a predominately white tail and mottled body at S end of A.E. Sea), American Kestrels (2-different locations), Sandhill Cranes (2- N of Dog Fields), Spotted Sandpipers (2), Caspian Terns (5-in three locations), American Crows (both E and W sides), Horned Larks, Cliff Swallows (8-S end A.E.), Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings and a Vesper Sparrow. Both Osprey Nests 1 and 2 appeared as they did on Sunday, but at Nest 3 the female was off the nest all morning (4 different visits including one by the girls); this may indicate that the eggs may not be viable. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab today and had several very good sightings. First of all they also spotted the Sandhill Cranes. They probably had the same 2 Spotted Sandpipers by the Main Injector, but they were then joined by 3 tiny juveniles. In addition, they found another older juvenile in a different location (indicating two separate successful breeding pairs in the lab). It appears the two Green Herons they have been observing for over a month nested successfully and were joined by a juvenile bird. Other sightings of note were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Caspian Tern, a Red- headed Woodpecker, a Great Crested Flycatcher and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Overall, it was a great day to be at the Lab. Dave

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The weather was much improved today from what we experienced the last two Sundays. It was mostly cloudy, warm (but comfortable) with a moderate wind (helped discourage the mosquitoes). The best part is that we came up with some good birds. One of the best birds was a Ruddy Duck on the Sea of Evanescence. This sighting tied for the latest sighting at the Lab (for spring migration). Also found in the Sparrow Hedge-Lakes region were a Wood Duck, an American Woodcock, a Caspian Tern, a couple of Bell's Vireos and a Sedge Wren. The chicks were finally showing at Osprey Nest 1; we were able to see two. At Nest 2, no chicks were showing yet. The female was standing high, however, and offset in the nest. We were finally able to confirm brooding by the female at Nest 3. Other birds found during the morning were Sandhill Crane (2-in a fuddle north of Batavia Rd by the Dog Fields), Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, Purple Martin (3-Dusaf), Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The morning started out fine with cool temps, no wind and overcast skies. Mosquitoes were the only issue, due to the lack of wind. Every body of water in the Lab is overfilled and most depressions are now filled with water. Interestingly, most of the Mallards and Canada Geese were in the flooded fields and not in the lakes. A Sedge Wren was still singing in a small field between Lake Law and A.E. Sea. A Wood Duck was in A.E. Sea and an Osprey was hunting above. The rains started while I was along the Sparrow Hedge and did not stop the rest of the morning. Returning to the Red Barn a pair of Caspian Terns flew from A.E. Sea to Lake Law. Unfortunately, the rain was intense enough to make viewing the Osprey nests difficult. The female on Nest 2 (Nepese) was deep in the nest and showed little movement while the male was sleeping on the perch above. The female on Nest 1 showed some activity and at one point appeared to be feeding the young. The male flew in, landed on the next pole down with a large carp, and began feeding. Like Sunday it could neither be confirmed nor denied that the female was on Nest 3, but one adult was feeding near the nest (about 50 yards away). Peter added the first Black-crowned Night-Heron of the year later in the day. Dave

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The morning started just like last Sunday with rain which greatly impaired birding. Monitoring the Osprey nests provided no new information. The females of both Nests 1 and 2 were tight on their nests shielding the young from the rain. At Nest 3 we could not determine if the female was brooding or not (due to the depth of the nest) while the mate was feeding nearby. When the rains stopped we had some interesting sightings starting with our new grassland bird monitoring location where we found a Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Field Sparrows and Sedge Wrens. Next we had a Wood Duck drake on a power line (the wire); it flew off. Then on our return it was back on the line. The breeding season was evident with a Baltimore Oriole, an Eastern Kingbird, and a Savannah Sparrow all carrying food. In addition, young birds of the following species were found: Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Field Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird and Baltimore Oriole. Other interesting birds found were Sandhill Crane (pair in North Roads area), Horned Lark, Vesper Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole. Peter noted seeing a Herring Gull and hearing about Wood Duck ducklings (in the Swan Lake canal) earlier in the week. Dave

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Marcia and Gail were at the Lab again this morning and had most of the expected summer birds. In addition, they had a Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpipers (2), Baltimore Orioles (2) and an Orchard Oriole. But their biggest news was that it appears that the female Osprey from the new nest (Nest 3) is brooding eggs. In their three trips to the nest throughout the day the female was at the nest each time. Two of these times she was nestled deep into the nest and one time she was standing to the side of the nest. Time will tell how successful this new pair of Osprey will be at the breeding process. Dave

Monday, June 8, 2015

It was a beautiful, early morning start to carry-out a grassland bird survey (1st breeding for 2015). The winds did pick up later in the morning, but the survey was over by then. Again no Grasshopper Sparrows were found. The numbers of the majority of the grassland birds of interest including Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlarks were about the same as the same period last year. The exceptions were that Savannah Sparrows were down one half but Sedge Wrens were up significantly (2014-0, 2015-10). Not much change with the Ospreys. Nest 1 - though the chicks cannot be seen, the female is clearly fussing over them. Nest 2 - no change. Nest 3 - still waiting to see if brooding will occur. Other birds of interest for the morning were Turkey Vulture, Blue-winged Teal, Semipalmated Sandpiper (2-Dusaf), Herring Gull, Great Horned Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, American Crow, Horned Lark (3), Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Vesper Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Our trip to the Lab this morning was quite short due to the early rain. The only bird of note was a fairly rare-for-the-season sighting of a Herring Gull on Lake Law. The sighting was doubly good because it was needed for Peter's Fermi Bird list for the first week of June. Blue-winged Teal and a Spotted Sandpiper were still at Dusaf. Can't report anything new on the Osprey nests since it was raining by the time we got to them and the birds were hunkered down. Then donuts. Dave

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The morning was warm, mostly overcast and breezy. The Lakes Region still has Blue-winged Teal, Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. The Sparrow Hedge area was alive with all of the expected summer breeding birds. There were two or more Bell's Vireos dueling it out vocally in one area. Other singing birds of interest were Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew out of Owl's Nest Woods over A.E. Sea then north up the sea. An adult male American Kestrel and a juvenile were in the area of the Main Injector nest box. A pair of Green Herons were also in this area. I must have miscounted the Hooded Merganser ducklings at the west side pond, because this morning there were six with the female not five. While observing the brooding bird on Osprey Nest 2 (Nepese), its mate landed alongside with a fairly large branch. In the process of positioning this branch, the brooding bird was stepped on, forced to turn away, then flush, circle the nest and finally land above on the perch. After the second bird sufficiently positioned the branch in the nest, it settled down to do the brooding. In observing Osprey Nest 1 (Main Injector) for a total of about 20 minutes or more during four different visits, the Ospreys were doing nest maintenance, bringing new materials, and each took short flights. In addition, they were feeding both themselves and young (although they could not be seen, it was clear chicks were being fed). Other highlight birds found this morning were Spotted Sandpipers, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings, Savannah Sparrows and Henslow's Sparrows. Dave

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and found most of the expected summer breeding birds in the Main Injector area the best being a Grasshopper Sparrow. After a surge of these in early May, they have been hard to come by recently. Some of the other highlights of what they found were Green Heron (at least 2), Willow Flycatchers (7-singing), both a Warbling Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo, Indigo Buntings, Bobolinks (7 males), and a Dickcissel. Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2015

It was a fairly crummy day for birding with gray skies, cold temps and substantial winds keeping many of the birds down. There were not many singing birds today. The bird of the day was probably the fleeting look at an American Woodcock flushing from one of the paths in the Sparrow Hedge area. Lake law provided some activity with a flyover Caspian Tern and five of our six swallows including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows, Cliff Swallows and Barn Swallows. The only migrants found were a couple of late Tennessee Warblers, one in the Sparrow Hedge area. There were no visible changes in the Osprey status or population today. The only other sightings of mention were American Coots (3-A.E.Sea), Warbling Vireos, a possible pair of Green Herons (probably the one's the girls have been monitoring), several Cedar Waxwings and Dickcissels (one of few actively singing birds in good numbers). Peter also reported a Connecticut Warbler last week. Dave

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Unlike the windy, few mosquito-day the girls experienced yesterday, there was little wind early and lots of mosquitoes today. Other than that it was a pleasant morning. Blue-winged Teal are still in the Lakes Region and Wood Ducks in some wet woodlands. The Sparrow Hedge area had both an Alder Flycatcher and a Bell's Vireo singing, Chimney Swifts overhead and a flyby Caspian Tern. Osprey Nests 1 and 2 are still status quo, but it looked like chicks were being fed on Nest 1 from a distance at one point in the morning. Nest 3 is progressing quite well; the Osprey's were bringing in nesting materials both times I passed it. Other birds found were Pied-billed Grebe (singing again at Lake Logo), American Crow, Marsh Wrens (the most I've witnessed in years at several locations), Cedar Waxwings, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Dickcissels (after the girls first sighting yesterday, they're everywhere). Lastly, Ryan Campbell found a Red-headed Woodpecker in the Big Woods. Dave

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Marcia and Gail were out this morning, again wind being a factor (although they said, "the wind did keep the mosquitoes down). They think they're onto a couple of nesting species namely Green Herons and Spotted Sandpipers (the sandpipers had nested in the area previously, hopefully their back). They did come up with a couple of new year birds including a Wood Thrush and Dickcissel. Other birds of interest were another Turkey Vulture, several flycatchers (including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird), a couple of Warbling Vireos and several Dickcissels. Dave

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. Glenn led a bird walk in the eastern Lab area some of the highlights and birds not seen during the week were as follows. A female Hooded Merganser on Lake Law (curious if this is one of the 3 I had earlier in the week with ducklings) and 2 American Coots in A.E. Sea. A new for the year Yellow-bellied Flycatcher along with both Alder Flycatchers and Willow Flycatchers, Bell's Vireos and an American Redstart in the Sparrow Hedge Area. Finally, there were 11 Turkey Vultures (a high for the year) roosting on Wilson Hall. 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. Mark Donnelly reported hearing a Black-billed Cuckoo and got a call on his Dragonfly video. 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

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