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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 ...Aug 26Aug 23Aug 20Aug 19Aug 16Aug 13Aug 9Aug 6
Aug 5Aug 2Jul 30Jul 26Jul 23Jul 22Jul 19Jul 16
Jul 15Jul 12Jul 8Jul 5Jul 2Jul 1Jun 28Jun 24
Jun 21Jun 17Jun 14Jun 10Jun 8Jun 7Jun 4Jun 3

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The morning was cloudy, cool with a slight breeze, actually quite comfortable. There were more shorebirds at A.E. Sea but mostly the same species as Sunday. Found were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers (2), Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (over 20), Least Sandpiper (over 10) and Pectoral Sandpiper (over 4). New for the season were a Semipalmated Sandpiper and Wilson's Snipe (5). Sora were also found in good numbers and a Belted Kingfisher was heard at the south end of the Sea. There were over 100 Great Egrets in the area, 91 on A.E. Sea alone. The few shorebirds found on DUSAF kept being flushed by a patrolling Cooper's Hawk (nothing new was found here). Both Wood Ducks and Blue-winged Teal were also found. The Sparrow Hedge area had several groups of noisy Blue Jays. A Bell's Vireo was singing and later a juvenile was found. In one active area together were several each of House Wrens, young Common Yellowthroats, young Indigo Buntings and a Song Sparrow. Other than that there was not much activity. Only the adult female Osprey was found on Nest 2. There was a little competition between the Juvenile Ospreys at Nest 1. One was feeding on the nest as the other circled overhead. After awhile the circling bird chased its sibling off the nest, landed and began eating the leftovers. Meanwhile the other Osprey flew to the next power pole and watched. The oddity of the day was finding one of the Nest 3 Ospreys perched on a nearby power pole along with an immature Turkey Vulture, (found first by Marcia), quite the "Odd Couple". Some of the other birds found were an American Kestrel, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Marsh Wren and several Cedar Waxwings. Marcia was also in the Lab this morning finding many of the same birds. Some of the other birds she had were Green Herons, Cooper's Hawk, Eastern Bluebirds, and Eastern Meadowlarks. In addition, besides first finding the immature Turkey Vulture with one of the Nest 3 Ospreys, her bird of the day was a Carolina Wren near DUSAF Pond. Dave

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The morning started out cool and cloudy with a moderate wind. Later in the morning there was a light mist which had no effect. The Lakes Region produced some interesting birds including Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal (DUSAF), Double-crested Cormorants (about 100), Great Egrets (still lots), a Cooper's Hawk, Soras (10-12), Caspian Terns, Great Horned Owls (2) Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (5) and a Bobolink. The highlight of the morning was the first sizable group of shorebirds of the fall migration (most on A.E. Sea) including Killdeer, Solitary Sandpipers (2), Spotted Sandpipers (3), Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (10-15), Least Sandpipers (2), and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Some of the other birds found during the morning were a Northern Harrier, a Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebes, a Cliff Swallow and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. As far as the Ospreys go, the most activity was at Nest 2. First, one fledgling was on the nest and the other was in a dead tree about 150 yards away. Then both were on the nest together and finally they were gone. At Nest 1 a fledgling was near the nest while another osprey, age unknown, was in a dead tree about 200 yards from the nest. Finally, at Nest 3 one of the pair was on the nest, hopefully working to improve it for next season. Dave

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The morning was cool, mostly cloudy and quite windy. This wind did have an affect on some of the birds, most notably grassland birds. The north end of A.E. Sea produced a Wood Duck, a Green Heron and a couple of Swamp Sparrows. There were four Caspian Terns and an Osprey hunting over Lake Law. Soon three more loudly squawking Caspian Terns joined the fray and caused an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron to flush from the lake's shoreline. The south end of A.E. Sea showed a lot of activity as typical over the last several weeks. Found there were over 25 Double-crested Cormorant, about 50 Great Egrets, 20 Great Blue Herons, many Mallards, a couple more Caspian Terns and many Swallows ( Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows). At Osprey Nest 1 one fledgling was on the nest while one of the adults was in a dead tree about 150 yards away. At Nest 2, one of the fledglings was on the perch above the nest begging for food while another was in trees nearby also begging. Finally, both adult birds from Nest 3 still remain close to the nest. A little later a third Osprey flew over this pair provoking a loud audible response from one of the Nest 3 pair. Dave

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Marcia was out this morning doing her regular survey. Conditions were good being cloudy, cool, with a moderate wind. Her bird of the morning was a Grasshopper Sparrow in Bett's Prairie inside the Main Ring. In addition, there was still a singing Sedge Wren in the Main Injector area. There was more evidence of Red-winged Blackbirds flocking up as she found around 150 together. Some of the other birds found were an American Kestrel, a Green Heron, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbirds and strangely a lone Cedar Waxwing. Also today, Ryan reported seeing a couple of Northern Harriers inside the Main Ring. Dave

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Birding conditions today were warm, mostly sunny with mild winds, and actually quite comfortable. We stayed out of the high mosquito areas intentionally. First stop was Osprey Nest 2 where the recently fledged chicks flew overhead as we approached, with one landing on the nest. A little later the second fledgling joined the first on the nest where they both begged for food. Peter thinks these chicks fledged sometime during the middle of the week (around Aug. 12th). Dusaf Pond produced some birds, the best being a couple of Black-crowned Night-Herons (1-adult and 1-immature). Other birds in this area were a Wood Duck, Great Egrets (more than 50), a Green Heron (with others found elsewhere ), Solitary Sandpipers (3), Caspian Terns, an Eastern Phoebe and American Crows. The singing Blue Grosbeak was again located. Other birds found during the morning were a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (2), Soras (heard in Lakes Region), a Chimney Swift, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Wood-Pewee and Henslow's Sparrows (still singing). Dave

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yesterday Marcia and Gail were in their usual locations inside the Main Ring and Main Injector monitoring birds. They still had a singing Sedge Wren and some Dickcissels. Cooper's Hawks have not been too plentiful recently but they had one in their area. Other birds of interest were a Green Heron, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and several recently fledged American Goldfinches. Later in the day on Wednesday, Peter relocated the Blue Grosbeak found last week. Today Glenn was in the Lab and found a Turkey Vulture over the Director's Woods. Not too many have been around lately. He posted the highest recent counts of both Double Crested Cormorants (51) and Red-winged Blackbirds (2500 plus). Other birds found were a Virginia Rail (A.E. Sea), a Belted Kingfisher (Lake Law, another tough find), an adult Purple Martin, Bell's Vireos (2-singing), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a Swamp Sparrow (A.E. Sea). Dave

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It was cloudy with light winds this morning providing comfortable conditions but some areas still contained lots of mosquitoes. The Osprey Nest 2 chicks were again buried deep in the nest with only a pop-up wing or head confirming their presence. The female parent was on the perch above the nest while the male was in a tree about 100 yards away. The Nest 1 chicks were standing in the nest again. One was feeding while the other preened and watched. After awhile the feeding bird dropped out of the nest, circled the area, and then returned to the nest as the female parent watched from nearby. The Nest 3 Osprey pair still remain in their nest area. Grassland birds still remain active with a nice group of 20 or more mixed-age bobolinks, singing Henslow's Sparrows and a recently fledged Eastern Meadowlark. The highlight of the morning was a singing Blue Grosbeak (most likely the same bird Glenn had on Thursday). Other birds for the morning were Wood Ducks, Green Herons, American Kestrels, Soras, a Spotted Sandpiper (landing on a large lotus leaf on Main Ring Lake), Caspian Terns (still around in several locations), an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Brown Thrasher and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The morning was warm, partly cloudy with a mild breeze that picked up throughout the morning. Osprey Nest 2 showed some activity with both chicks in the nest while an adult on the perch above. One of the chicks was walking around and stretching its wings while the other was picking up nest sticks and rearranging them. Similarly, at Nest 1 both chicks (which fledged last week) were back on the nest - one feeding on a fish while the other was preening. One of the adults was nearby on a power pole. Finally, both Nest 3 adults were back together on a power pole near the nest. Interestingly, there was an Osprey and two Caspian Terns hunting along the Main Ring Moat. Two Virginia Rails were heard at the south end of A.E. Sea and a Sora at Lake Logo. Other interesting birds found were a couple of Green Herons, Chimney Swifts, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Sparrow Hedge), a Hairy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatchers (some singing), an Eastern Phoebe, both Sedge Wrens and Marsh Wrens (both still singing in good numbers), Cedar Waxwings (several locations), Henslow's Sparrows (singing) and Indigo Buntings (a family group of several immatures). Glenn had a couple of great birds today - a singing Blue Grosbeak and a flyover Broad-winged Hawk. He also had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in of all places, a corn field. Dave

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Marcia and Gail were out this morning and were also affected by the "dog days" phenomenon. Sedge Wrens are still spreading to new areas around the Lab as witnessed by their finding a Sedge Wren in their Main Injector location where they had not seen one previously this year. A couple of immature Bobolinks were also in this area. Also nearby was a nice group of Cedar Waxwings. Dickcissels are moving out of many areas, but they still had some inside the Main Ring. Also, Mark Donnelly found a Ruddy Duck in the Sea of Evanescence. This was a strange sighting - probably the same bird seen there several weeks ago. Dave

Sunday, August 2, 2015

It was a rather uneventful morning of birding at the Lab today. Again only one chick was seen popping up at Nest 2. The other nests were not visited. A number of Wood Ducks were seen in the Lakes Region including a female with five medium-sized chicks following behind. Several Green Herons were again also in the Lakes Region. The only other birds of interest were Caspian Terns, Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows. Dave

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A quick stop at the Lab this late this afternoon to check on the Osprey situation produced these results. First the Nest 3 area of the Main Injector was vacant - neither of the pair were to be found. Next Nest 1, at first, looked empty but then a long wing appeared and up popped one of the chicks (remember they were both fledged on Sunday). What appeared to be the other fledged chick was perched on a power pole about 100 yards away. Finally at Nest 2, both chicks were together in the nest and occasionally working their wings, while one of the adults watched from the perch above. This was a relief after seeing only one momentary head-bob on Sunday. Dave

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Again the weather, being mild and mostly cloudy, had no affect on the birds this morning. In the grassland, near the Road B Arbor Day Site, we found just about all the desired grassland birds with good views of many of these. The birds found were Sedge Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. The Osprey chicks from Nest 1 have fledged. They were found 40-50 yards away with one of their parents on a power pole. At Nest 2, one of the adults was above the nest on the perch while the chicks were apparently asleep. I did see, however, one head pop up momentarily. At Nest 3, both adults were together atop the nest, a great sign of continued nest loyalty. Some of the other birds found were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green Heron (strangely we had 7 fly overhead near A.E. Sea), American Kestrel, Sora, Caspian Tern, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The weather (warm, mostly sunny and minimal wind) had no affect on the birds this morning. The Sparrow Hedge Lakes Region produced a Wood Duck, a Green Heron, Soras (at least 2), Caspian Terns, Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. In addition, while walking along the Hedge, an American Woodcock flushed less than five feet from me. During the morning all five of the summer flycatchers were also found including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher (still a good number singing), Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. All four birds were on Osprey Nest 2 with both chicks being fed by one of the adults. The chicks are noticeably larger and more active. The chicks on Nest 1 were occasionally flapping their wings as one of the adults looked on. Nest 3 had one adult perched about two power poles away. There were still a good number of singing Dickcissels inside the Main Ring at Betz's Prairie, which was their main stronghold this season. The most interesting sighting of the morning involved a pair of immature Red-tailed Hawks. While driving in the center of the Ring, the two hawks, while apparently playing sibling games, landed in a tree ahead of me. Driving ahead slowly to get a better view I saw that one of the birds was hanging upside-down by one leg. After awhile the other bird flew off. Then the upside-down bird started struggling and finally freed itself and dropped down to a branch below. I was able to get some good pictures while the hawk regained its balance and enjoyed the world right-side up. Dave

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marcia and Gail were struck with the mid-summer birding doldrums today with not much exciting to report. They did, however, hear a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which is always a good bird. In addition, they did compile a nice list of recently fledged birds including Common Yellowthroat, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Indigo Bunting and Dickcissel. Dave

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It was mostly a typical, mid-summer morning for birding today - mostly overcast, warm and buggy. The highlight of the morning was the confirmation of breeding Blue-winged Teal with the discovery of 11 ducklings following a female in Dusaf Pond. Also found were 6-7 juvenile Orchard Orioles along East Wilson Rd. The two Osprey chicks on Nest 2 were showing a little more activity in the nest than on any previous visit. Other birds found were Wood Ducks (2), a Green Heron, American Kestrels (5-6), Soras (calling in A.E. Sea), Willow Flycatchers, Bell's Vireo, Marsh Wrens and Cedar Waxwings. Dave

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Glenn added some really good birds for the week today in addition to a long list of the usual suspects. His best birds were Virginia Rail and Sora (both at A.E. Sea), American Woodcock (Sparrow Hedge area), a Barred Owl, Swamp Sparrows (Main Ring), Scarlet Tanagers (Big Woods), and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The morning was sunny, comfortably cool with a mild breeze. Mosquitoes were less aggressive than on Sunday, enough to allow a somewhat comfortable walk through the Sparrow Hedge area. The woodlands, however, are still off-limits for any sane person. There was nothing remarkable to report from this morning, but many of the uncommon summer species were found. Found were Sandhill Cranes (pr-East Wilson), Caspian Terns (10-12), Willow Flycatchers (several singing), Horned Larks, Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, Vesper Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows (a juvenile with an adult), Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels (one of the females carrying food) and a Baltimore Oriole (Juv). At Osprey Nest 1, the chicks appear quite healthy and seem ready to start exercising their wings. The Nest 2 chicks, not nearly as active, are only seen as occasional pop-ups above the rim of the nest. The Nest 3 adults were together on a power pole near the nest, one eating a fish, the other just watching. Interestingly, there was a large branch between them, destine for the nest I assume. Some of the other sightings were American Kestrels (9), Eastern Kingbirds, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, an Eastern Bluebird (a female carrying food to and into a nestbox), a Brown Thrasher and Savannah Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Once again our morning's birding was dictated by the overly aggressive mosquitoes, no Sparrow Hedge and no wood lots. We started by Dusaf Pond with some interesting birds including a Wood Duck, a Green Heron (2 others were seen elsewhere), Caspian Terns (Flybys), a Chimney Swift, a Belted Kingfisher (a rare sighting in recent years, our first for the year), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher (in an unexpected location), and several American Crows (7-quite a high number for the Lab). Nearby Osprey Nest 2 had both adults and both chicks at the nest. It appears that these chicks are not growing at the rapid pace that the chicks of Nest 1 had progressed. By the way, the chicks on Nest 1 are almost as big as the adults at this time. We had all 4 birds on Nest 1 when we approached and it was quite crowded up there. The Nest 3 pair are still hanging around the nest area. Other birds seen were American Kestrels (3), Spotted Sandpiper, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, a Grasshopper Sparrow (good looks), several singing Henslow's Sparrows, quite a few Dickcissels inside the Main Ring and several stray Bobolinks. Dave

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The morning was overcast, cool with minimum wind, perfect for a post-breeding grassland survey. The major changes in today's survey from the last breeding survey a couple of weeks ago were a sizable decrease in Dickcissels (from 31 June 24th to 18 today) and an increase in Bobolinks (from 17 June 24th to 41 today). The increase of Bobolinks was due to post breeding concentrations of family groups, with 23 in one location. I did have 4 Grasshopper Sparrows while Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks numbers remained consistent with the June 24th numbers. All 10 Ospreys were accounted for with no change in their status. Some of the other birds found during the morning were Green Herons (2), American Kestrels (3), Sandhill Cranes (2-in buffalo fields), Caspian Terns (7), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Wood Pewee, an Eastern Phoebe, a Willow Flycatcher, Horned Larks (4), lots of swallows (including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows and Barn Swallows), Marsh Wrens, Vesper Sparrows, and Indigo Buntings (10). Marcia and Gail added Spotted Sandpipers (2-adults), an Eastern Kingbird and, interestingly, an adult male Orchard Oriole feeding a begging juvenile. Dave

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The mosquitoes have reached a new height in irritation. Other than that the weather was very nice - warm and sunny with very little wind. The morning started out with an adult Bald Eagle patrolling along the north shore of Lake Law. Not a lot of activity in the Lakes Region. We did have Caspian Terns, Bell's Vireos, Marsh Wrens and Cedar Waxwings. The fuddles in the north fields are drying fast with no interesting shorebirds to be found. That area did produce American Kestrels (3), Spotted Sandpipers, Horned Larks and Vesper Sparrows. We did locate all the prime grassland birds, the highlight being a quite boisterous Grasshopper Sparrow. Both the chicks at Osprey nest 1 are getting quite large and the two at Nest 2 are showing much more activity. Only one adult was near Nest 3. Also found were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe and, the bird of the day, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Dave

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It was a cool morning but the wind was the major hindrance since Zack, a summer intern, and myself were primarily looking for grassland birds. We did find all the target grassland birds though none were overly abundant. The highlight was four Grasshopper Sparrows at one monitor point along Batavia Rd. Others found were Sedge Wren (3 locations), Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks (none singing and found in only one location) and Eastern Meadowlarks. Some of the other birds found were Great Egrets (over 15 at Nepese), a Green Heron, a Red-tailed Hawk (flying off with a good sized snake ), a Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (7-north roads fuddles), Caspian Terns, a Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Tree Swallows (many-many young birds), House Wren (carrying food into nest box), Marsh Wrens (lots at A.E. Sea), and Eastern Bluebirds (several young birds in several locations). The pair of Nest 3 Ospreys were not in the nest area but, as I was leaving, one did fly-in (so they're still around). One of the chicks on Nest 1 appears to be almost half the size of an adult, the second was smaller. The big Osprey news was finding a second chick on Nest 2 at Nepese marsh; both were being fed. Finally, Dave Shemanske reported a couple of Sandhill Cranes along South Eola Rd. Dave

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Marcia and Gail were in this morning and spotted many of the expected summer breeding birds, lots of mosquitoes and had several interesting sightings. Again they had an adult Spotted Sandpiper with at least one juvenile. Caspian Terns (2) were searching for food over the Main Injector Moats. Also found were a Green Heron, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and several Bobolinks (not too an easy find this breeding season). They reported that both adults were near but not at Nest 3 which was a failure this its first year. But at the same time they had two of their most interesting sightings of the morning near this nest site by the Main Injector. First was an American Kestrel eating a small Rodent and second was their bird of the day, a Peregrine Falcon. They were lucky to get good looks at it atop a power pole before it flew off. Dave

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

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