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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 ...Mar 27Mar 26Mar 24Mar 19Mar 16Mar 15Mar 12Mar 8
Mar 5Mar 2Feb 26Feb 23Feb 22Feb 20Feb 19Feb 16
Feb 15Feb 12Feb 11Feb 10Feb 8Feb 5Feb 2Feb 1
Jan 29Jan 26Jan 25Jan 22Jan 18Jan 15Jan 12Jan 10

Monday, March 27, 2017

During a short trip to the Lab today Denis added a Great Egret and a Field Sparrow (new for year) to the week's survey list. Dave

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Despite the on-again off-again rain during the morning we came up with some pretty good birds. Peter started a little early and relocated the Loon on Lake Law. Before the rain chased us away, we found Northern Shovelers, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. Inside the Main Ring we added Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Ducks and American Coots. At one point, a dripping wet Northern Flicker looked down on us as we scanned Lake Logo. Our first highlight was finding an Osprey (ties the Lab's earliest sighting) near Nest 1. Then a little later we found both Osprey's atop Nest 1. At A.E. Sea, Green-winged Teal , Pectoral Sandpiper (2) and a Wilson's Snipe were added to our list. On our return to Lake Law, Denis pointed out a couple of Bonaparte's Gull (new for year, our second highlight of the morning) flying over the lake. Other birds found there were a Cooper's Hawk, a Horned Grebe and a group of Double-crested Cormorants (new). A few other birds of interest were American Kestrels (3), Tree Swallows, Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Fox Sparrow. In the interesting mammal department, we found a pair of Beavers and a Mink along the Main Ring Moat. Dave

Friday, March 24, 2017

The morning was warm, partly cloudy and very windy with considerable gusts. The southerly winds over the last day or so brought a wave of new birds and the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region was alive with activity. Song Sparrows in particular were singing constantly here and everywhere else in the Lab. The third bird of the morning was the bird of the day, a Common Loon (first of year) on Lake Law. The pair of Village Sandhill Cranes were again at the north end of A.E. Sea. The highlights of an extensive list of birds in the area were Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal (new-year), Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Common Mergansers, Great Blue Herons, American Coots, a Lesser Yellowlegs (new-A.E. Sea), 2 Pectoral Sandpipers (new-A.E. Sea), an American Crow (calling for 10-15 min), Golden-crowned Kinglets (new-many throughout Lab), Eastern Bluebirds, Fox Sparrows (quite a few here and others throughout the Lab), a Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (a couple groups) and Common Grackles. Found in the Big Woods were several flyover Turkey Vultures, a pair of Great Horned Owls and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (new). Found in the area of the Main Ring were American Wigeons, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead (pr.), Ruddy Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe, Wilson's Snipe, American Woodcocks (new), a Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebes (new), Tree Swallows (on nest box) and Rusty Blackbirds (new, but quite late). Denis was also in and added a Horned Grebe for the morning. Glenn was in the Lab this evening to lead a Woodcock Trip, but soon after they started the bottom fell out on the temperature scale (in a matter of minutes the temp dropped 20 deg and continued to drop during the outing). They did find 5 American Woodcock displaying in the interpretive prairie near The Big Woods. Besides finding many of the birds found in the morning, a couple of common misses from the morning were added for the week. The Buffalo Wallow produced a couple of Wilson's Snipe and a good number of Pectoral Sandpipers (8). They also had a bonus, hooting Barred Owl to round out the evening. Dave

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Birding today started with mostly sunny skies, mild winds and temps in the low 30's, but warmed steadily. Several Great Blue Herons were found around Lake Law. These were the first found in over 3 weeks. Lake Law also produced Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers (firsts of the year spotted by Denis) and a Horned Grebe. We also had a pair of Sandhill Cranes fly over L.Law. To round out the morning's waterfowl we had an American Wigeon, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks and Common Goldeneye inside the Main Ring. Other highlights of the morning were a Cooper's Hawk (Big Woods), American Coots, American Crows, a Brown Creeper, and Eastern Bluebirds. Glenn was in early and heard a Barred Owl calling for the first contact with this species for the year. Sounds like he spent most of the day birding the Lab and had an impressive total of 63 species for the day. Some of the birds of interest he added to the day's tally were a Wood Duck, Bufflehead (2), a Pied-billed Grebe, a Turkey Vulture (Main Ring), two Northern Harriers (1-near Casey's Pond and 1-along Eola Rd), American Woodcocks (3-Big Woods, new for year), a Great Horned Owl (B.Woods), Hairy Woodpeckers (2), an American Kestrel, a Northern Shrike (a late one in M.Ring), Horned Larks, 2 Hermit Thrushes (Sparrow Hedge-first of the year), also in the S.Hedge a first of the year Brown Thrasher (both were early arrivals), Fox Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows (3-A.E. Sea), Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds and a Purple Finch (S.Hedge). Dave

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The morning started out quite cold, in the high teens, but the sunny skies and minimal winds allowed for reasonable warming throughout the day. Early in the morning A.E. Sea was ice covered while Lake Law was about 90 percent open. The scattered openings in L.Law provided both a good mix and quantity of birds. Found there were Canada Geese, Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shovelers (most numerous species), Green-winged Teal, Redheads, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers and, the bird of the day, a Horned Grebe. Waterfowl found elsewhere in the Lab were American Black Ducks, Wood Ducks, a Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneye and Ruddy Ducks. As the girls showed yesterday, there are quite a few Song Sparrows around, but I also ran into a flock of over a dozen Fox Sparrows near the Ed Center. The expected sparrows found included American Tree Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other highlights were a Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk (brooding on a nest in the Buffalo Savannah), American Coots, an American Kestrel (across from the Buffalo Barn), Hairy Woodpeckers, American Crows, Horned Larks, Eastern Meadowlarks (again with subdued activity in the cold), a Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbirds and a couple of American Goldfinches. Though I missed them, the pair of Sandhill Cranes were again hanging around the East Entrance. Dave

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Marcia and Gail were out this morning in the Lab monitoring in cold but sunny conditions. In their usual territory (in the area of the Rings) they found a large number of waterfowl. Included in their finds were Canada Geese, Wood Ducks (11), Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal (2), Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead (2), Common Goldeneye (6), Hooded Mergansers (12), Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds of interest were American Coots, a Blue Jay, American Crows (2), Horned Larks (12) and Song Sparrows (9). Their bird of the day was a full adult Bald Eagle found in the Betz Prairie area. Dave

Sunday, March 12, 2017

It was cold, starting at about 18 degrees. Birding was considerably more pleasant, however, because of the minimal winds unlike other recent visits. A.E. Sea and DUSAF were almost totally ice covered. Lake Law, on the other hand, being mostly open, did provide some good waterfowl. Birds found on L. Law were Canada Geese, Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, a Northern Pintail (found later in the morning), Green-winged Teal, Common Mergansers, a Hooded Merganser (fem. - there were others elsewhere) and Ruddy Ducks. There was an increasing number of both Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls on the ice covered portion of the lake. Other birds of note in the area were several flyover Sandhill Cranes (6-7), an American Coot (a large number were also found inside the Main Ring), American Crows and a Common Grackle. Other waterfowl found around the Lab were several Wood Ducks (first-of-the-year birds on Swan Lake),an American Black Duck, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads and Common Goldeneye. Though not very active nor in large numbers, several sparrow species were found including American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow, a White-crowned Sparrow and a Dark-eyed Junco. Other birds of mention during our morning were a Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harriers (2-males in Main Ring), a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Bluebird, Horned Larks and Eastern Meadowlarks (only a very few were singing due to the cold conditions). Later in the day Glenn was in the Lab and had many of the same birds as were found in the morning, but also added several birds needed for the week's list. Those additions were a Turkey Vulture (around Wilson Hall), an American Kestrel (Main Ring), a Swamp Sparrow and American Goldfinches. Dave

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

By far, today's winds were the strongest I have experienced in the Lab for some time and they had a considerable affect on the birds. How windy was it? Windy enough to blow down the new Chimney Swift tower between A.E. Sea and Lake Law. Luckily, the bright sunny skies and mild temps made the birding a little more tolerable. A.E. Sea still had Northern Shovelers (100 plus) and Green-winged Teal (about 100) plus a bonus pair of Tundra Swans (first of the year). On a very choppy Lake Law only Common Mergansers could be found. Added at DUSAF Pond were Gadwall and American Wigeons. Both Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were found around A.E. Sea with a Fox Sparrow added in Main Ring Woods. Other waterfowl found inside the Main Ring were Redhead, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, a pair of Bufflehead (new for year, kind of late), Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Marcia and Gail, also covering the Ring area, recorded most of these. They also added a Cooper's Hawk which was needed for the week. Walking several wetland areas produced only a couple of Wilson's Snipe, I expected many more. Other birds of note were an American Kestrel (fighting frantically to stay on top of the kestrel box at Batavia and Eola), a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, Horned Larks and only 3 or 4 Eastern Meadowlarks (others were surely suppressed by the wind). Lastly, upon arriving the girls also spotted the pair of Sandhill Cranes near the east entrance. Peter added a Turkey Vulture to round out the day. Dave

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Wind, again this morning, was a major factor in the bird activity and thus the birding. The temps were mild but the overcast skies and wind made it somewhat uncomfortable. We did, however, find 3 new year birds despite the wind. First we had a Horned Grebe (Lake Law - tied with earliest prior sightings). Next we had a Tree Swallow (over Lake Logo - one week ahead of its earliest sighting) and finally a Great Egret (flying high over Lake Law - 2 weeks ahead of its earliest sighting). Other waterfowl found on Lake Law or A.E. Sea were Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers. Several other waterfowl were found, mostly in the Main Ring's waters, including Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Ruddy Ducks. A few of the other birds of interest were a nice male Northern Harrier, an American Kestrel, a Northern Flicker, Horned Larks, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Common Grackles. Dave

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The morning varied between cloudy and partly cloudy with periodic snow showers and temps just below freezing. A.E. Sea was mostly open but not with a lot of activity. Found there were Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Common Mergansers and a pair of Sandhill Cranes on the far north end. Lake Law only added Hooded Mergansers to the list. Waterfowl found in the Ring areas were American Wigeon (first of the year), Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, and Ruddy Ducks. Most of the Sparrow activity was due to several nice sized flocks of American Tree Sparrows. Others sparrows found were Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and a Fox Sparrow. The bird of the day was a Northern Shrike found inside the Main Ring. Other interesting finds were a Northern Harrier, an American Kestrel, American Coots, Killdeer (not as prevalent as in last week's warmth), a pair of Great Horned Owls, Blue Jays, Horned Larks, Cedar Waxwings (a flock of 50 or more birds feeding on berries-North Roads), Eastern Meadowlarks and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Dave

Sunday, February 26, 2017

After our recent warm weather, this morning's weather was quite a shock to the system. The mid 20's temps were not all that bad, but the strong winds made conditions quite uncomfortable. Both A.E. Sea and DUSAF were covered by ice and produced no birds. Lake Law was mostly open. There we found Northern Shovelers, Common Mergansers and Hooded Mergansers. Other waterfowl found (mostly in Main Ring Lake or Lake Logo) were Gadwall, Redheads. Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds found during the morning were American Kestrels (2), American Coots, Killdeer, an American Crow, Horned Larks and Brown-headed Cowbirds (several in a flock of mostly European Starlings with some Red-winged Blackbirds). Our parting bird for the morning and, the bird of the day, was an immature Bald Eagle (looked like a 3rd year bird) flying over Lake Law. On his way home Peter spotted the first Turkey Vulture of the year in the Lab (this ties the earliest Lab sighting from over 20 years ago). Dave

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Roads and Grounds personal reported seeing a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Village today. These are most likely the same birds found there last year. Furthermore, they may be the pair we saw flying over Lake Law on Sunday and the cranes I heard at A.E. Sea yesterday. In addition, Peter reported hearing then seeing a first of the year Snow Goose flying in proximity with some Sandhill Cranes in the area of Wilson Hall. Dave

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The morning started quite foggy and warm with a slight breeze which increased considerably late in the morning. The fog made viewing on the Eastern Lakes tough. Still about 70 Green-winged Teal and several Northern Shovelers were found on A.E. Sea. Sandhill Cranes were also heard somewhere in the northern portion of A.E. Sea. Both Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were also found in this area. Waterfowl found elsewhere throughout the Lab were Gadwall, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks (first of the year). A flock of approx 200 Red-winged Blackbirds along West Wilson Rd. contained several females and the first Brown-headed Cowbirds (3-4) of the year. White-breasted Nuthatches were again extremely active; this time at the Ed Center Feeders. Some of the other morning highlights were American Coots (Lake Logo), a Great Horned Owl (Big Woods), Hairy Woodpeckers, Horned Larks, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks (first of the year and in many locations around the Lab) and a Common Grackle. Dave

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dave Shemanske reported seeing several groups of Sandhill Cranes flying over the Lab today. Dave

Sunday, February 19, 2017

From start to finish the weather for birding this morning was great, being sunny, warm (in the 60's) with minimal winds. It was quite noisy all morning with some of the more noticeable contributors being Red-winged Blackbirds (singing in territories just about everywhere), Canada Geese (flying and honking everywhere), Blue Jays (many locations), White-breasted Nuthatches (very active in the Big Woods), Downy Woodpeckers (drumming in many areas), Black-capped Chickadees and American Robins. Even the Song Sparrows, which were very elusive this winter, were represented. With these weather conditions, waterfowl were somewhat of a disappointment in both quantity and variety. The only new one for the year were Northern Shovelers (A.E. Sea). Others found were a Gadwall (A.E. Sea), Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks (A.E. Sea), Lesser Scaup (A.E. Sea) and the usual Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other new year birds were Sandhill Cranes (pr-flying west over L.Law), a Killdeer and a Lapland Longspur (both on the Lab's north side). Some other highlights for the morning were a couple of Great Blue Herons (perched in an oak in the Buffalo Savannah), a Great Horned Owl (Big Woods), a Common Grackle and several Horned Larks (North Fields). On his way home through the Lab Peter also spotted a Northern Pintail (Main Ring Lake) and a Northern Harrier. Dave

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The morning's weather was quite pleasant with above normal temps reaching the mid 40's, mostly cloudy skies and mild winds. The Lakes Region produced only several Common Mergansers and a Ring-billed Gull (yes, there were lots of Canada Geese and some Mallards also). A good number of Ring-billed Gulls were later found on Main Ring Lake, the first multiples of this species. MRL also produced a pair of Hooded Mergansers and several Common Goldeneyes. As I watched, a large group of Common Mergansers flew in increasing the total number of these on MRL to over 200. Other waterfowl found around the Lab, mostly at Lake Logo, were Gadwall, Redheads (about 20-new for year), Ring-necked Ducks (about 12) and a Lesser Scaup. Back at the Lakes Region, Red-winged Blackbirds were back singing in their territories. Other birds in the area were an adult Bald Eagle (perched at the SW corner of Lake Law), an American Crow (some were also found on the west side of the Lab), American Robins, Cedar Waxwings (15-20) and Swamp Sparrows. Song Sparrows, which have been hard to locate this winter, are now becoming more plentiful. Dave

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Marcia and Gail were again in the Lab this morning. It was a little windy and cooler than the past several days. The highlights of their waterfowl were the regular winter visitors both Common Goldeneye (5) and Common Mergansers (66). They found a nice mix of sparrows including American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, a White-crowned Sparrow and several Dark-eyed Juncos. They found a Belted Kingfisher in two separate locations inside the Main Ring. We also had a Kingfisher in two separate locations several weeks ago. It is still undetermined if there is only one bird in the Lab or if a second exists. Other highlights for the morning were Blue Jays, Horned Larks and, the best bird of the day, a first-of-the-year Common Grackle. Dave

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Strong wind (gusts over 40 mph) was the major factor impacting the morning's birding today. Otherwise, the mild temps and partly cloudy skies had little effect. Nothing new or too special in the waterfowl found which included American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks (pr), a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. The two highlight birds of the morning, both found inside the Main Ring, were an adult Bald Eagle and a Great Horned Owl. The list of other highlights was not overly impressive and included Northern Harriers (2), the Belted Kingfisher (Main Injector), Eastern Bluebirds (Big Woods), a Song Sparrow and a Red-winged Blackbird. Dave

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Glenn was in the Lab today leading a DBC Field Trip specifically looking for a Northern Shrike. It was quite nice weather-wise and most importantly had minimal winds. Not only did he locate the Northern Shrike inside the Main Ring but located a grand total of 33 species for the morning - quite good for a February morning. Waterfowl highlights included a pair of Mute Swans on Lake Law (first of the year), Canvasbacks (a whopping 20 flew into Lake Law), Lesser Scaup (3-L.L.), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Two new Fermi year birds were included in the day's count. They were a pair of Mute Swans and Snow Buntings (4-along Main Ring Road). Other highlights for the morning were a Northern Harrier, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers (2), Blue Jays, an American Crow, Horned Larks (6-flocked with the Snow Buntings), Eastern Bluebirds (2-by Red Barn), an American Robin, a Song Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds (2-at Lake Law). Dave

Friday, February 10, 2017

Over the last two days Glenn made a morning trip to the Lab on Thursday and a short afternoon trip today. He duplicated some of the birds we had on Wednesday, but also added several birds needed for the week. His waterfowl highlights included Cackling Geese (a year high of 7), Ring-necked Ducks (pr), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and over 2600 Canada Geese. Other water related birds were a Pied-billed Grebe (Main Ring Lake) and a Great Blue Heron. His remaining highlights were a couple of Northern Harriers, an American Kestrel, the Belted Kingfisher, Horned Larks (3), an American Robin, a Song Sparrow and a Swamp Sparrow (both around A.E. Sea). Also, on Friday Peter found a rare Ross's Goose along Road D (not relocated on Sat. or Sun.). Dave

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It was another cool morning in the mid 20's with not much increase throughout the morning. Skies were cloudy with occasional flurries. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning and we crossed paths and compared notes. This is a composite listing of those sightings. The only waterfowl of note in A.E. Sea was a Cackling Goose and 5 Green-winged Teal. Other waterfowl highlights found in the Ring areas were Ring-necked Ducks (pr), a Lesser Scaup (F), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and first-of-the-year pair of Hooded Mergansers (Main Ring Lake). I had a Northern Harrier on the east side of the Lab while the girls had 2 on the west side. The Belted Kingfisher was back to its apparent favorite location by the Main Injector Moats. Sparrows were represented by American Tree Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows (3), a White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other highlights for the morning were Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays (missed all last week), Horned Larks (9), American Robins and at least 3 American Goldfinches. Dave

Sunday, February 5, 2017

It was cool to start (mid 20's) but soon warmed to the mid 30's. It was also bright and sunny with a mild wind - pretty nice overall. Still quite a bit of ice covering most waters with not much of interest on the East Lakes. Waterfowl were mostly the same as found earlier in the week, mostly in the Main Injector Moats. Found were a Cackling Goose (Lake Law), a Gadwall, a Canvasback (male), Ring-necked Ducks (2-males, 1-female), a Lesser Scaup (female), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. We spent a lot of time (unsuccessfully) looking for a Song Sparrow, which in most years past would not have been a great challenge. This is another species, like the goldfinch, which has been hard to find this winter. There were no real standout birds for the morning but we did have the following highlights: a Great Blue Heron, a Cooper's Hawk (perched for at least an hour by Kidney Pond), an American Crow, Horned Larks (several locations), a Brown Creeper, American Robins, a Swamp Sparrow and House Finches. Dave

Thursday, February 2, 2017

This morning was very cold (16 deg to start) with a brisk wind from the NW. The only bright spot was the sun (sorry about that). The birds were not very active and the results proved that out. A.E. Sea was frozen over except for an area at the south end; only about 200 Canada Geese were in that area. Lake Law had a larger open area but the only addition there were several Herring Gulls. The diving duck diversity remains unchanged. Found around other parts of the Lab were a Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks, a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other birds of note for the morning were a Northern Harrier, a Belted Kingfisher (at Bulrush Pond), Horned Larks and a Swamp Sparrow. Glenn was in the Lab for some evening birding and came up with the first Gadwall (2) of the year in the Main Injector Moat. His other waterfowl was similar to what the girls and I had recently. He was able to locate 3 Northern Harriers, which is a high count for this year in the Lab (second time he pulled that off). He also found a good number of American Robins (47). They eluded me this morning. Dave

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Marcia and Gail were out in the Lab this morning and the first thing they saw, which had been elusive for quite awhile, was the sun and blue skies. Waterfowl highlights were the expected Common Goldeneyes (7) and Common Mergansers (48). The Bald Eagle was again in the Main Ring this time joined by a Northern Harrier. The Belted Kingfisher is still hanging around the Main Injector area; hopefully, it has found a permanent residence in the Lab. Some of their other highlights for the morning were Hairy Woodpeckers (2), Northern Flickers (3-only the first ones found since early Jan.), Eastern Bluebirds (2), American Tree Sparrows (2), a White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncos (30) and an American Goldfinch. Dave

Sunday, January 29, 2017

It was cool with occasional flurries again this morning, while the NW wind made it feel quite uncomfortable. Several Cackling Geese were mixed in with a good number of Canada Geese on A.E. Sea. Main Ring Lake area produced at least 1 Greater White-fronted Goose, the first American Coots (2) of the year and an American Crow. Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers were found in open waters throughout the Lab. A Pied-billed Grebe (first of the year) along with a Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks (pr), and a Lesser Scaup were found in the Main Injector Moat. Nothing special was found at the Ed Center Feeders while at the Roads and Grounds Feeders we found a White-throated Sparrow, a couple of White-crowned Sparrows and an American Goldfinch among others. Other highlights of the morning were Great Blue Herons (2), American Kestrels (2), a Belted Kingfisher (possibly 2) and a Song Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The morning started out cool and cloudy with a mild breeze. The wind increased steadily throughout the morning with occasional snow flurries. A.E. Sea was mostly about geese having Greater White-fronted Geese (over 25), Canada Geese (several hundred) and a few Cackling Geese (2-3). At least 2 of the Green-winged Teal were also back. In the meantime, Lake Law was totally devoid of any birds. Found in other areas of the Lab and rounding out a very good waterfowl morning were American Black Ducks (pr.), Mallards, a Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks (3), a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes (about a dozen) and Common Mergansers (about 50). A large flock of House Sparrows (over 50) caught my ear just north of the east entrance. In an Ag field,just behind the bushes where the sparrows were found, was a flock of European Starlings and at least 1 male Red-winged Blackbird (first of the year). A flock of over 30 Cedar Waxwings, first of the year, were found eating snow off tree branches near the entrance to the Garden Club. Other highlights of the morning were a Bald Eagle, a Belted Kingfisher, a Northern Shrike, American Robins, American Tree Sparrows, a Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows (2), a White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Dave

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Marcia was out in the Lab this morning monitoring and found 22 species, a very good start to week 4 of our new survey period. She had the Adult Bald Eagle that Glenn found last week in the same area of Main Ring Lake. The Belted Kingfisher was again found in the Main Injector area. Also located was the American Kestrel near the Bison Barn. Her other highlights were a Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers (65), a Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gulls, Blue Jays (2), American Tree Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow, a Song Sparrow and an American Goldfinch. Dave

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It was quite foggy to start, but this cleared out rather quickly. Then the above average temps, overcast skies and windless conditions produced a very rewarding morning of birding. A.E. Sea had only several hundred Canada Geese while Lake Law had about 60 Common Mergansers and 3 Common Goldeneye. There was a lot of open water around the Lab with more mergansers and goldeneyes being the most common finds, but the Injector moats added a nice male Canvasback, a Ring-necked Duck and a Lesser Scaup. The Ed Center Feeders were quite active, but the only bird of note was an adult White-crowned Sparrow. This activity was interrupted when all the birds scattered as a Cooper's Hawk swooped down but was too late for breakfast. Other highlights spread throughout the Lab were a Great Blue Heron, an American Kestrel, a Great Horned Owl, a Long-eared Owl, a Belted Kingfisher (Main Injector), Hairy Woodpeckers, a Northern Shrike (Main Ring), Blue Jays (active in several locations) American Robins (active in several locations), a Song Sparrow and several American Goldfinches (Roads and Grounds Feeders). At the end of last week Glenn added 2 new year birds: a Bald Eagle hunting over Lake Law and a Cackling Goose in Main Ring Lake. In addition, he found 2 Wilson's Snipe in the Main Ring that were needed for the week. Dave

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

March-like weather in January produced only fair birding with no exciting finds. A fog existed throughout the morning with an occasional light mist and temps in the mid 30's. A now larger area of open water at A. E. Sea produced only Canada Geese (about 80). Lake Law had about 30 Common Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye in addition to a Ring-billed Gull and a couple of Herring Gulls. Other birds in these areas were an American Crow, a Swamp Sparrow and American Tree Sparrows. A small number of highlights were found elsewhere throughout the Lab including an American Black Duck, several Hairy Woodpeckers, a flock of American Robins (20 plus) and a couple of American Goldfinches (only my first of the year). Marcia and Gail were in the Lab late in the afternoon and had several more interesting birds during their visit in addition to many of the same expected species I found in the morning. They relocated the Belted Kingfisher in the Main Injector area and also added a Great Blue Heron, an American Kestrel and a White-crowned Sparrow. They were also privy to some of the returning Common Mergansers (212) and Common Goldeneye (24) which usually spend the night in the Lab's open waters. Dave

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The weather this morning was very good being overcast, calm and cool but warming to about freezing (32 deg) by the time we left the Lab. Bird activity was at a minimum throughout most of the Lab. The still open patches of water did not produce much. A.E Sea had the same 4 Green-winged Teal and nothing else. The only other waterfowl of note were small numbers of Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers found throughout the Lab's open waters. Even the still fairly full feeders showed minimal activity and nothing out of the ordinary. Some of the birds of note were an American Kestrel, a Hairy Woodpecker and an American Robin. The two highlights of the morning were a rarely seen (over the last several years) Belted Kingfisher and a first of the year, Northern Shrike found by Joe. Dav

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It was cool (mid 20's) and overcast but pleasant enough for a mid-winter morning of birding. A sliver of open water on the north end of A.E. Sea held about two dozen Canada Geese and 4 Green-winged Teal (probably the same ones seen there on New Year's Day). A fairly large patch of open water on Lake Law contained several Common Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. Also found in the area were an American Crow, a Swamp Sparrow and several Downy Woodpeckers (7 or 8 in the cattails). The Ed Center Feeders were very active with lots of Dark-eyed Juncos and more Black-capped Chickadees than I have seen together in quite awhile (15-20). Other birds of note at the feeders were a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Fox Sparrow and American Tree Sparrows. A mammal of note there was a Gray Squirrel, popping its head out of the top fill hole of one of the feeders, watching me while I watched the birds. Other birds found around the Lab today were a pair of American Black Ducks, a Great Blue Heron, a Northern Harrier (hunting inside the Main Ring), Hairy Woodpeckers (Big Woods), a Blue Jay, Horned Larks (Bison Feeders), a White-throated Sparrow and House Finches. Marcia and Gail were in the Lab a little later in the morning. They added several birds for the new period's week totals including a Cooper's Hawk, Rock Pigeon (yes, I missed this one), an American Kestrel, a White-crowned Sparrow and an American Goldfinch (What has happened to this species lately, their numbers are way down in the Lab?). They also found a second Northern Harrier. Dave

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The wind and rain this afternoon did not leave many birding opportunities during a short trip to the Lab. Actually, the highlight of my stay was watching an opossum feeding on seed under the Roads and Grounds Feeders. The only birds worth mentioning were over 200 Common Merganser and several Common Goldeneye in a fairly large opening in Main Ring Lake. Also, the Lesser Scaup still is in the Main Injector Moat. Dave

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