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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 ...Dec 14Dec 10Dec 7Dec 4Nov 30Nov 26Nov 23Nov 21
Nov 19Nov 16Nov 12Nov 9Nov 8Nov 6Nov 4Nov 2
Oct 29Oct 26Oct 25Oct 15Oct 12Oct 9Oct 8Oct 5
Oct 2Oct 1Sep 15Aug 31Aug 28Aug 24Aug 21Aug 20

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It was very warm and quite foggy early, and these conditions did not change throughout the morning. The now largely open waters of the Lab provided habitat for more waterfowl than in recent visits. Starting with Lake Law among the expected Canada Geese and Mallards were several Cackling Geese, a Ring-necked Duck, and a number of Common Mergansers. A Northern Harrier was seen hunting the fields west of L.Law. Only a Great Blue Heron was of interest at Dusaf Pond. Sleeping on some of the remaining ice at Main Ring Lake was a Snow Goose (Blue). Also found there were more Cackling Geese, a Gadwall, some American Black Duck and lots of Common Mergansers (95 counted by Glenn). A Bald Eagle was spotted while filling the Ed Center Feeders and was later found patrolling Swan Lake then perched along its western shore. The Northern Shrike was again found along the southern edge of the Main Injector area with several Northern Flickers nearby. Another large group of Common Mergansers and several Common Goldeneye were found on Casey's Pond. The Roads and Grounds feeders were more active than the empty Ed Center Feeders. Most of the expected winter birds were found here in addition to a White-throated Sparrow. Finally, a striking male Northern Harrier was observed hunting along the east side of South Eola Road. Dave

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A very late afternoon, early evening trip to the lab today was a bust. Primarily, it was an owling trip looking for both Short-eared Owls and Screech Owls. I missed on both species. I wouldn't even mention it but this is, after all, a diary and we must report both the good and the bad. Dave

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This morning was cloudy and mild with the moderate wind being the only downside. Aside from Canada Geese and Mallards, Lake Law only had several Common Mergansers and American Crows (on the ice). The Main Injector Moat had more Common Mergansers and several Common Goldeneye. We fared much better in the remainder of the Injector area by finding a pair of interacting Red-tailed Hawks, a Northern Harrier (it buzzed the hawks after they perched), an American Kestrel, a Northern Shrike and several Pine Siskins. Of the birds at the Ed Center Feeders only a Hairy Woodpecker was of interest while the Roads and Grounds Feeders had several more Pine Siskins. Interestingly, a pair of American Black Ducks were going through the motions of mating at Casey's Pond. A walk along Kress Creek produced about 10 American Black Ducks, a Cooper's Hawk, a Great Horned Owl, another late Ruby-crowned Kinglet (I had several on Nov, 26; this bird tied our latest sighting), several American Robins and several Red-winged Blackbirds. Also interesting, we found abnormally large numbers of Mourning Doves (in flocks) at several locations throughout the morning. Dave

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Although the temps were still below the average, it was quite a pleasant morning for birding at the Lab. The mostly sunny skies early and mild winds had a lot to do with it. Lake Law had more open water than last week, but besides the Canada Geese and Mallards there was only one male Common Goldeneye. The Garden Club was dead except for a Blue Jay, a Horned Lark (field on north side), and several Northern Cardinals. Only a couple Common Mergansers were added at Main Ring Lake. The Main Injector Moats added more Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. I walked around five different woodlots (including the Big Woods) and could find small numbers of the typical winter residents including Red-tailed Hawks (edges of woods), Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and a Great Horned Owl. Marcia and Gail fared much better first with two immature Bald Eagles and a Cooper's Hawk in the Main Injector area. Then in the Main Ring they found a Northern Harrier, American Kestrel and American Crow. There was also a second American Kestrel at the Bison Fields. Dave

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Peter had a mini "Hawk Watch" on Sunday finding a Northern Harrier, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk, several Red-tailed Hawks and a Rough-legged Hawk. A Swamp Sparrow, always a tough bird in cold weather, was found along Indian Creek. The Ed Center Feeders produced probably the same Fox Sparrows and White-throated Sparrow that have been seen for weeks. Hopefully, these will stick around for the Christmas Bird Count. There was also a surprise Red-winged Blackbird feeding along with these sparrows. Dave

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It was another cold and cloudy morning to start the day. On the plus side the winds were mild, the clouds parted somewhat and temps did rise a little. This early season cold has closed most bodies of water; therefore, waterfowl were hard to come by. Lake Law had one pool-size opening with only Canada Geese and Mallards nearby. Main Ring Lake had three very small openings, with only two Hooded Mergansers using one. Only the Main Injector Moat had a large amount of open water but, other than a good number of geese, there were only several each Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers and American Coots. Also in this area was an American Kestrel and an intently hunting Northern Harrier. There was a nice mixed flock of birds in the Garden Club area including lots of Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, and American Goldfinches. There were also five to six each of American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. There was also the remains (fur and blood) of one of the last remaining rabbits in the Lab. In the snow were wing marks from a raptor (probably a resident red-tail) and a coyote. It's hard to tell what really happened, but the rabbit obviously lost the battle. Finally, I spent a good amount of time walking through wood lots, mostly pine areas. In one lot there was a flock of Black-capped Chickadees with several, quite late, Ruby-crowned Kinglets tagging along. Another surprise here was a Brown Creeper. Dave

Sunday, November 23, 2014

This morning it was warmer than recent visits, but the light rain did hamper most of our field birding. Still lots of Canada Geese around most open water areas and any surrounding ice. Lake Law also held several Common Goldeneye, and Common Mergansers and a Lesser Scaup. Some Cackling Geese were found on Main Ring Lake along with quite a few Greater White-fronted Geese and several Hooded Mergansers. Again, a Northern Harrier was patrolling the fields nearby. The only bird of interest in the Main Injector area was an American Kestrel. Probably due to the warmer temps, there were not as many birds around the Ed Center feeders. We did find, however, both a Fox Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow. Some Canvasbacks were asleep on Casey's Pond when we passed by. A Cooper's hawk appeared to be patrolling the fields in the North Roads area. In addition, the bird of the day, a Peregrine Falcon was spotted on one of the tall power poles in that area. It appeared to be casing the joint. Then, on our return, the falcon was found several poles from its initial location ripping apart a blackbird. Dave

Friday, November 21, 2014

Marcia and Gail had some interesting sightings today while enjoying a warmer sunny day (at least compared with our recent cold wave). The Main Injector Moat had a couple Gadwall, a dozen Common Goldeneye, and a couple of Hooded Mergansers. There was also a Belted Kingfisher in the area. Finally, they found a Northern Shrike in the Main Ring (Bett's) Prairie. Dave

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another cool, windy morning with skies changing from totally overcast to clear and then back and forth several times. Lake Law was about 10 percent open, with birds both on and off the ice. The highlight was five Tundra Swans (two were sleeping and I'm assuming they were Tundra's). Mixed in the large number of Canada Geese were several Cackling Geese and several Common Mergansers (all females). Main Ring Lake had a little more variety with Greater White-fronted Geese (at least four), American Black Ducks, Lesser Scaup (1 Fem), Common Goldeneye (2 Fem.), and an American Coot. A Northern Harrier zoomed low over the Main Ring Prairie then up and over the Berm toward the south end of the Lab. Only Hooded Mergansers (again females) were of interest in the Main Injector Moat. I finally found some male divers in Casey Pond which were Hooded Mergansers. The Ed Center Feeders must have been really busy recently, since I had to refill them all. The only birds of note here were several each of Fox Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows. Most of my time was spent on the west side of the Lab in my survey locations. As expected the bird count was down from the warmer weather visits and most of the birds were the expected winter residents. Highlights were one Great Horned Owl, a couple of Fox Sparrows, several White-throated Sparrows and the bird of the day a late Winter Wren. Dave

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It was another cold start today with just enough wind to increase the discomfort level another notch. The light snow did not seem to affect the birds. A.E. Sea was frozen over as was most of Lake Law (most of the birds here were on the ice). Lake Law was loaded with Canada Geese in addition to several each of Cackling Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese. The big surprise of the morning was finding 24 Sandhill Cranes on the Lake Law ice. These flushed and were later found in the North Roads area, picking up several more along the way. Several more Cackling Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese were found in Main Ring Lake. In the Main Injector area we added American Black Duck, Hooded Merganser and an American Kestrel. Casey's Pond had several each Ring-necked Ducks and American Coots. The larkspurs seen last week were nowhere to be found in the North Roads area; we ended up with just a few Horned Larks. There did appear to be an increased number of Red-tailed Hawks around the Lab today. There was a reasonable amount of activity around the Ed Center Feeders. The only highlights were a White-throated Sparrow and several Fox Sparrows. There was also a Red-tailed Hawk perched almost directly above the south feeders, but this did not seem to bother the birds feeding below. Dave

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The day started out with temps well below normal and mild winds, but the winds soon picked up and the temps started to fall. Though the activity was sparse on Lake Law the first Common Loon of the season was present. It was found joined by only a few Mallards and Canada Geese. A.E. Sea, however, was loaded with waterfowl, mostly Canada Geese. Other birds of interest there were Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, and Bufflehead. In addition, an immature Bald Eagle flushed from Owl's Nest Woods. The south end of A.E. Sea and the eastern portion of the Sparrow Hedge produced over forty Cedar Waxwings, American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (over a dozen), and a singing White-throated Sparrow. The Garden Club's only activity was on the southwest corner due to the wind. Found in the area was an American Crow, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and about thirty Dark-eyed Juncos. Main Ring Lake was not very active but there were three Pied-billed Grebes, a pair of Hooded Mergansers and about a dozen American Coots. There were several Gadwall and a few more American Coots on Lake Logo. Fox Sparrows were found in several locations including Main Ring Woods and the Ed Center Feeders. A pair of Great Horned Owls also flushed in a nearby woodlot. Yesterday, Peter also reported a Bald Eagle, this one by Swan Lake. Dave

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Today was another cool and mostly cloudy early morning with increasing wind and warmth to follow for today's birding. Lake Law gave up two very clean Horned Grebes (adult nonbreeding), several Lesser Scaup, a low flyover Cooper's Hawk (first of several for the day), and several high flyover Cackling Geese. On A.E. Sea, we found Green-winged Teal, Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks and two American Crows (on stickup in the water). The Sparrow Hedge was pretty dead, but we did manage a few sparrows at the south end of A.E. Sea including American Tree Sparrows, a Song Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Arguably, the bird of the day was a late Common Yellowthroat (1st November sighting ever) found on the edge of the Main Ring Moat. Previously no yellowthroats were found in the Lab between late October and the end of April. A Tundra Swan was located on Main Ring Lake along with a Pied-billed Grebe and several American Coots. Our first Northern Shrike of the season was seen near the Main Injector. A stop at Casey's Pond added some Black Ducks and Gadwall. Finally, the experience of the day was encountered along the North Roads were we found several flocks of Lapland Longspurs (totaling several hundred birds). The winds made it hard to observe any birds that landed in the mowed corn fields since the birds immediately hunkered down upon landing. Another reason may have been the two Cooper's Hawks which were patrolling the fields just a foot or two above the surface. One hawk almost flew into our open car window, veering off at the last second. Also with the longspurs were a Snow Bunting and a bunch of Horned Larks. Dave

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Glenn had some notable sightings today starting with a Tundra Swan at A.E. Sea and a Belted Kingfisher at Dusaf Pond. At the north side of the Lab, he found a Wood Duck and in Casey's Pond, a pair of American Black Ducks and a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk nearby. A flock of 28 Horned Larks and 108 Dark-eyed Juncos were found in the North Roads area. A couple of Snow Buntings were seen on Main Ring Road while a Rusty Blackbird was found near the Ed Center. Dave

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The morning was cool and cloudy but the major factor affecting the birds was the strong and gusty winds. Lake Law produced about a dozen Hooded Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. A.E. Sea had about a dozen Ruddy Ducks and a large number of Green-winged Teal. Added at Dusaf Pond were Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, more Green-winged Teal and a late Greater Yellowlegs. The only birds of mention in the Garden Club were some Eastern Bluebirds. Main Ring Lake had more Gadwall and Green-winged Teal (there were more G-W Teal today than I have ever seen in the Lab). At one of the Main Ring Marshes I watched a Northern Harrier fighting the wind to hold its position above an apparent prey, but eventually it had to capitulate to the wind. The Ed Center feeders were quite popular with the birds during this windy morning, but about a dozen Fox Sparrows and a couple of White-throated Sparrows were the only birds of note. On the way out later in the afternoon there were over 75 Greater White-fronted Geese near the buffalo pens. Dave

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Merlin was spotted by Glenn and Peter later on Sunday morning, as well as several other birders in the area. A Tundra Swan was also seen Sunday, I assume it was in the Lakes Region. Monday Peter had a Snow Goose on Swan Lake. Is this becoming the next Fermi hotspot? Finally, Glenn found a Snow Bunting in the Main Ring. Dave

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It was quite cold early this morning, with a thin layer of ice on much of A.E. Sea. Waterfowl and other associated birds found in the Lakes were Canada Geese, Mallards, Green-wing Teal, Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes and an American Coot. A flock of calling Lapland Longspurs flew over the area. In the Sparrow Hedge region, sparrows were much more numerous and active than earlier in the week. Sparrows found were American Tree Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The numbers were nowhere near what they were a couple of weeks ago with American Tree Sparrows now the most numerous species. There were a good number of Cedar Waxwings and most all of them were adults. Earlier in the season the majority of the waxwings in the area were juveniles. Also, a Belted Kingfisher was heard near A.E. Sea. The Ed Center Feeders appear to be well established after only being filled on Wednesday. Many of the expected birds were found including a handsome Hairy Woodpecker. Another Belted Kingfisher was heard in the area (not too often do we have two in one day). Found on the south feeders were the birds of the day, three Purple Finches (2 females and 1 striking male) giving us great views. The Big Woods were very quiet with only another Hairy Woodpecker and a pair of Great Horned Owl worth mention. Killdeers were found in the Swan Lake area. On the way out we again found over 40 Greater White-fronted Geese in the Buffalo Fields. Dave

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It was quite cool and windy early with little improvement throughout the morning. A quick stop at Lake Law produced only several Pied-billed Grebes, a Double-crested Cormorant, and a bunch of Canada Geese. Several Eastern Bluebirds were heard overhead. From the berm, I scoped A.E. Sea and only added more Pied-billed Grebes, several Ruddy Ducks and an American Coot. Green-winged Teal were added at Dusaf Pond. The Garden Club again had noticeably less birds than recent trips. Sparrow season is waning as witnessed by the increased number of American Tree Sparrows. The only other birds of note in this area were a flock of 8-10 Eastern Bluebirds, Dark-eyed Juncos (quite a large number have moved in since Sunday), and several Fox Sparrows. Most of my morning was spent on the west side of the Lab, with little to show for my time. The highlight was another flock of Fox Sparrows (about 10), some singing. Peter mentioned a Cackling Goose on Swan Lake and I later found it still there. There were over forty Greater White-fronted Geese in the Buffalo Fields with about the same number of Canada Geese. Marcia and Gail did quite well in the Main Ring and Main Injector adding Wood Duck, Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing (an impressive 170 birds), Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and Purple Finch (with a bunch of House Finches, probably the same female found last week). Lastly, Ryan reported an adult Bald Eagle over A.E. Sea early in the afternoon. Dave

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The morning started with a chill and not a cloud in the sky. Again, it warmed quickly. Waterfowl are slowly starting to take center stage for birding opportunities. Found in the Lakes region were increased numbers of Canada Geese, a Cackling Goose, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaups, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks. Other water associated birds were Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot and Wilson's Snipe (several flushed along A.E. Sea). We ended up with nine species of sparrows on the east side of the Lab, but numbers appear to rapidly diminishing. Found were American Tree Sparrows (our first of the season), Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (most abundant species), White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows (all in immature plumage), and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds of note for the morning were Sharp-shinned Hawks (2 flybys), American Crows (8-9 around the Garden Club), a Nashville Warbler (late migrant) and Rusty Blackbirds. Dave

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Here's a quick review of some of the highlight birds found last week in my absence. Marcia and Gail again reported both a Northern Harrier and an American Kestrel inside the Main Ring. Also found there were American Crow, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Towhee and Lincoln's Sparrow. In the Main Injector area they found an Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler and a female Purple Finch (always a tough one and a first for the season). Some of the highlights Peter reported from last Sunday were Greater White-fronted Geese (in Buffalo Fields), American White Pelican (a flyover), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (still by Swan Lake), and a Nelson's Sparrow (a tough find this year). Dave

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It was overcast and warm with a slight breeze early but, after about an hour, a mist mixed with light showers began and continued throughout the remainder of the morning. This did not appear to affect the birds at all. Sparrows especially were quite active on the entire east side of the Lab. The north end of A.E. Sea was the least active; only Swamp Sparrows were found. The bird of the day was an American Bittern found, oddly enough, in the grass near the first intersection on the path toward the Sparrow Hedge. It flushed and flew into A.E. Sea marsh area. Interestingly, when I returned about two hours later it or another bittern was in the same location and flushed again. The whole south end of A.E. Sea and most of the Sparrow Hedge area was very active with sparrows. While Swamp Sparrows were still the most abundant, both Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows were a close second. There were also good numbers of White-crowned Sparrows. In addition, there were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler. A.E. Sea was totally covered by water but there was not much not variety in the waterfowl. Found here were Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal. Lake Law held only Ruddy Ducks and a lone Pied-billed Grebe. As I drove into the Garden Club, two Red-tailed Hawks and a Cooper's Hawk flushed from the north end. This did not appear to affect the sparrow activity in the area. Among the many sparrows found were Chipping Sparrow (by far the most abundant), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Another Orange-crowned Sparrow was found here among several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quite chilly and sunny to start, but again, it warmed fast. We covered the A.E. Sea/Sparrow Hedge area very extensively. There was not a lot of variety in waterfowl in this area. Found were Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, and in Lake Law Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck. A Pied-billed Grebe was also on Lake Law. There was still a good number of Killdeer on the A.E. Sea flats. Also found were a Dunlin, a Wilson's Snipe (flushed from north end of A.E. Sea), and, the bird of the day, a Red-necked Phalarope. Swamp Sparrows again topped the list of sparrows in the area. Other sparrows found were Field Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow (south end of A.E. Sea), Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Additional birds found here and other eastern Lab locations were Cooper's Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Eastern Phoebe, both Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler and Magnolia Warbler. Peter also mentioned he again had the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on Friday, good for another survey week. Dave

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marcia and Gail had some interesting birds this morning starting with a pair of Ring-necked Pheasants in the Main Ring Prairie. This is the first time in a while both a male and female have been seen in the same area. Other birds they found in the Main Ring and Main Injector areas were Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Hermit Thrush, Palm Warbler , Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Their bird of the day was an early Pine Siskin, again in the Main Ring Prairie. It was also a first for the year. Dave

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It was mostly clear all morning with cool but warming temps. Winds also increased throughout the morning. The Dusaf and Nepese areas were not too productive. Worth mentioning were several Green-wing Teal, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Greater Yellowlegs, and several Swamp Sparrows. There was much more activity in the Garden Club with about half the birds being House Finches, House Sparrows and American Goldfinches. Next were a large number of Eastern Bluebirds (25-30). One even landed on the top of my head (hat) at one point. Interestingly, most of the bluebirds moved on after about 15-20 minutes. The remaining birds consisted of an Eastern Phoebe, an American Crow, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Clay-colored Sparrows (at least two), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (at least two), and Swamp Sparrows. The remainder of the morning was spent monitoring several defined woodlots on the west side of the Lab. Again there was a good amount of activity in most of these locations. The highlight birds in these locations were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe, Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Finally, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was again seen by Swan Lake, this time in the downed trees on the west shore. Dave

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It was chilly to start with the moderate breeze making it feel like glove weather - I forgot mine. It warmed nicely and, if you were out of the wind, it was quite pleasant. The chilly wind appeared to keep the birds tight to their overnight roosts during the early morning. The A.E. Sea area was mostly about waterfowl including Gadwall, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser and Ruddy Duck (Lake Law). Also in this area were Pied-billed Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, Swamp Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird. In the area of the Sparrow Hedge we added Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Brown Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow. In the Main Ring Woods area we added Great Horned Owl (pair), Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow (3) and Indigo Bunting. Other birds found throughout the Lab were Northern Harrier, Bonaparte's Gull (later on Lake Law), Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, American Crow, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. In addition to some of the above listed birds, Denis' class spotted some of the best birds of the day including several Broad-winged Hawks and both a Snow Goose and Ross's Goose. All these were seen flying over several locations of the Lab. Later in the day a Clay-colored Sparrow was reported, in of all places, a stop sign at Eola and Batavia roads. Dave

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It was cloudy and pleasant this morning, with the only issue being the voracious mosquitoes in certain areas. A walk along the west shore of A.E. Sea produced Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Sora (several), Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat (several in a group), Swamp Sparrow (many along the route) and a Cooper's Hawk flying low over the marsh foliage. The Sparrow Hedge itself was quite active with many of the expected common species including lots of American Goldfinches. In addition, some highlights were Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Song Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow (several). Dusaf had several shorebirds including Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper. There was also a flyby Black-crowned Night-Heron. Aside from the numerous resident House Sparrows and House Finches, the only birds found in the Garden Club were Eastern Bluebirds and Chipping Sparrows. A flock of several Eastern Meadowlarks was flushed entering the Main Ring Prairie. The Main Ring woodlots were fairly quiet but I did hear a number of Eastern Towhees in addition to seeing more Yellow-rumped Warblers and Swamp Sparrows, a Tennessee Warbler and a Great Horned Owl. Peter had the Peregrine Falcon around Wilson Hall. Finally, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was still in the Swan Lake area (where it has been for almost a month), this time on the north shore. Dave

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Here's a review of some of the birds found during September, in my absence, excluding the impressive list posted by Peter on the 15th. Marcia and Gail reported several warblers including Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. The last Osprey sighting they had was Sept. 11. They have also had a Ring-necked Pheasant (Fem), Belted Kingfisher and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Denis had a nice list from his Sunday class (Sept. 28). Some of the highlights were Ruddy Duck, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Sora (lots), Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Tennessee Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Eastern Meadowlark. A Peregrine Falcon has been reported in the Wilson Hall area. Peter added a Tufted Titmouse on the east edge of the Big Woods on the 21st. Dave

Monday, September 15, 2014

It has been a remarkable week for birds on site. On Sunday the 7th a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was found on site. It spent all day Monday near Swan Lake where it was very cooperative for the many who came to see it. Later in the week I nearly ran over a Least Bittern that was sitting on the road right by the spot where the heron had been. Unfortunately, it flew into the nearby cattails before I thought to take a photo. On Friday a juvenile Peregrine Falcon was photographed on the 14th floor ledges of the High Rise. On Sunday A.E.Sea produced a juvenile Bald Eagle, a Black Tern, and a Nelson's Sparrow and today a male Black-throated Blue Warbler was photographed sitting on a bench by the east entrance to the High Rise.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

It was quite foggy and mild to start this morning. Later, as the sun burned off the fog, the temperature and humidity increased. The major factor affecting the birding were the mosquitoes which have greatly increased in numbers. The Sparrow Hedge was our first stop. Most of the birds found were migrants, some of which were summer residents found in larger than normal numbers. Birds in the area were American Woodcock, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (at least four were found around the Lab), Bell's Vireo (at least four singing males), Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (several), Brown Thrasher (several), American Redstart and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Next stop was the Dusaf area where we found about thirty Great Egrets, a Wood Duck, Northern Shovelers (first of the season) and some young Soras. In the Big Woods area we hit the first large group of migrant warblers of the season including Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler (made up about half of the birds in the group), Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler and American Redstart. Both Eastern Wood-Pewee and Great Crested Flycatcher were also heard singing in this area. Dave

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Partly cloudy skies and mild temps made for a pleasant morning at the Lab. The shorebird habitat is just starting to return to edges of A.E. Sea. Not much to see this morning , just several Lesser Yellowlegs and Killdeer. More could have been in the vegetation as proven by the forty or so ducks flushed when I readjusted my scope including Mallards, Wood Ducks and a couple of Blue-winged Teal. Most of my time was spent in a number of woodlots (mosquitoes were not a major factor) throughout the Lab with most of the sightings occurring on the edges or in moist swampy areas. Some of the birds found were Green Heron, Turkey Vulture (flyover), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewees (still singing), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and my first migrant warbler of the season a Tennessee Warbler. Dave

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The starting conditions today were mild and humid with warming throughout the morning. This was one of our slowest mornings of the warm weather season. The recent heavy rains covered most of the Lakes shorebird habitat, while most of the low areas that should produce alternate habitat were overgrown. Therefore, the only shorebirds found were Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper and a Solitary Sandpiper. Additional water birds found were about a dozen Great Egrets, a few Green Herons, several Caspian Terns and a couple of Wood Duck families. Some of the other birds found were American Kestrels, Eastern Phoebes, Red-eyed Vireo, Brown Thrasher and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Dave

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On Tuesday evening, Aug. 19th, Peter confirmed several very good sightings including a Black Tern, a Forster's Tern and a Lab first, Marbled Godwit. All of these were gone on Wednesday morning. Dave

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

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