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April, 2015 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

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

Sunday, April 12, 2015

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

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

Thursday, April 2, 2015

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

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