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August, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It was cooler than most recent mornings with quite a bit of sun and mosquitoes. Sandhill Cranes are still being seen and heard around the village area. The waters were slightly lower than Wednesday at A.E. Sea. This provided a little more habitat, though, still muddy. Birds found at the north end were a Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, a Stilt Sandpiper (Juvenile) and a Short-billed Dowitcher. Again, several Soras were seen at the edges of the cattails, one being quite young causing a change in breeding status to Possible on the Fermi Bird Pages. Some of the other birds found in the area were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets (again, a good number wading in A.E. Sea), Green Herons, a Caspian Tern, a Bell's Vireo (heard) and Cedar Waxwings. A couple fuddles on the north side produced a small number of some of the above-mentioned birds in addition to Greater Yellowlegs (2). The Osprey count for the morning was six; two on Nest 2, two near Nest 1 and two near Nest 3 (though it's hard to know who's who in the Nest1-Nest3 area due to their close proximity). The bird of the morning was a Belted Kingfisher in the main Injector, the first of the year. Some other birds of interest for the morning were Cooper's Hawks (2), an American Kestrel (strafing a perched Red-tailed Hawk), Horned Larks, a Savannah Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, several Baltimore Orioles and a surprise Dickcissel along Eola Road. Dave

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It was warm to start and got warmer throughout the morning. The mosquitoes were back in force after being suppressed for the last several weeks. Today, there was a pair of Caspian Terns hunting over Lake Law. One of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes was calling again east of A.E. Sea. A walk around the Sparrow Hedge area was very quiet and did not produce much. Eastern Kingbirds were still bickering while a couple of Gray Catbirds chatted away. Everything else was more common. The highlight of the morning was that A.E. Sea is starting to show some shorebird habitat. The south end was just starting to show some flats even though no birds were present when I was there. The north end was hard to access but did produce the following: Killdeer, Solitary Sandpipers (3), Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (10-15), Semipalmated Sandpipers (2), Least Sandpipers (over 20), Stilt Sandpipers (2) and a Short-billed Dowitcher. There were also a couple of Soras scooting in and out of the cattails. One fuddle on the north end of the Lab did also produce several shorebirds including Solitary Sandpipers (2), a Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers (8-10). Several Henslow's Sparrows were singing in the Arbor Day area and Sedge Wrens in a couple of other areas. The two juvenile Osprey were in the area of Nest 1. Nest 2 had 1 to 3 occupants present during the morning, from early to mid to late morning. These birds seem to be using the nest as a resting spot more often than the Nest 1 birds did. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning. They too had both Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows singing, theirs were inside the Main Ring at Betz Prairie. Some of the other birds they found during the morning's heat and mosquito infestation were Wood Ducks (2), a Green Heron, a Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpipers (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Kestrels (2), Eastern Kingbird (13 - in two family units), an Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Bluebirds (2). Dave

Sunday, August 7, 2016

We had an abbreviated birding session in the Lab this morning. Weather was perfect for an August morning (mostly sunny but cool with only a moderate wind). Both pairs of Sandhill Cranes were in the Village area momentarily. Denis saw one pair fly in and I saw one fly out going south over A.E. Sea. Shorebirds were a disappointment due to both the high waters at A.E. Sea and the drying up of many of the fuddles. Found were only Killdeer, several Solitary Sandpipers and a Spotted Sandpiper. Osprey Nest 2 had three birds on the platform. Looking into the sun it was hard to determine their age. We also found one Osprey near both Nest 1 and Nest 3. Both appeared to be adults, but it would be hard to assess their origin (Nest 1 or 3). Dave

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Today was quite warm, though not unbearable, for most of the morning, but the early afternoon became quite hot. The Sparrow Hedge area did not produce much while A.E. Sea still has high waters. In the area were a Caspian Tern, a Spotted Sandpiper, Marsh Wrens (singing in several locations) and several Cedar Waxwings. Osprey Nest 2 had only two occupants in the early morning (could not determine age), but later in the afternoon the three juveniles and one adult were present. Only one Osprey was found around Nest 1. Several fuddles produced 40-50 shorebirds including Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Solitary Sandpipers. Also Sedge Wrens were still present and singing in many locations, a couple of Henslow's Sparrows were heard and several Eastern Meadowlarks were flushed. Some of the other birds we found during our morning were Wood Ducks, a Turkey Vulture, Green Herons, American Kestrels, a Great Horned Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewees, American Crows, Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning doing their typical monitoring route. Being quite hot and sunny it was a typical August morning of birding. They found only 1 Osprey at Nest 1. Some of the other birds they found were American Kestrels (3-sitting together on a wire), Eastern Wood-Pewees (2), Sedge Wrens (2-inside the Main Ring), Eastern Towhees (3), Field Sparrows (2), a Chipping Sparrow, Indigo Buntings (6) and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

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