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August, 2014 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The morning was quite pleasant being overcast, mild with a light breeze. Most of our morning was spent along the edges of several wooded areas. These areas were extremely quiet but we did manage a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We also confirmed breeding for Red-eyed Vireo the ugly way - an adult Red-eyed Vireo was observed feeding a fledging Brown-headed Cowbird. A Henslow's Sparrow was found singing very intently north of the Big Woods. A ride in the North Roads area only produced a Turkey Vulture and a family of five American Kestrels. Finally, a stop at Dusaf Pond produced a Green-winged Teal (Fem), a Green Heron, several Lesser Yellowlegs, a couple of Solitary Sandpipers, and a couple of flyby Caspian Terns. Dave

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This morning Marcia and Gail reconfirmed Dickcissel breeding by finding an adult carrying food. Is this a second brood? They also observed three immature Bobolinks which have not been too plentiful of late. They also found another bird needed for this week's list, an Orchard Oriole. Last Saturday Glenn confirmed the Red-shouldered Hawk he had found earlier. He also reported a White-rumped Sandpiper and the first Semipalmated Plover of the fall migration, both seen among most of the other shorebirds that have been found over the last couple of weeks. Dave

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It was a very pleasant start to the morning. Although the humidity increased as the morning wore on it never became too uncomfortable. The mosquitoes were again suppressed as long as you stayed out of the woods. Several of us combined for the following species in A.E. Sea and Dusaf including Green Heron, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and Caspian Tern. Al Stokie also added a Bonaparte's Gull. Other birds of interest in the area(s) were a Cooper's Hawk (east of A.E. Sea), Sora, Willow Flycatchers (singing), a Bell's Vireo (east of central path to Sparrow Hedge) and Marsh Wrens. There were over 50 Great Egrets and 30 or more Great Blue Herons found, mostly around the Sea of Evanescence. Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows, both in small numbers, were still singing along North Eola Rd. The four young Ospreys were doing well and taking turns flying around the nest area, then returning to the nest or an adjacent power pole. The parents were seen flying in several locations around the Lab. Dave

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The morning was hazy and warm and the mosquitoes were back again in force. We started at A.E. Sea where Willow Flycatchers were still singing. There were again 10 Caspian Terns on the flats. We watched an adult fly in with a fish and feed one of its young. The young tern had quite a struggle getting this fish down. Shorebirds found here were Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Least Sandpiper. A highlight was finding a female Wood Duck with 6 very small ducklings at the south end of A.E. Sea. In the Dusaf Pond area we added several Lesser Yellowlegs and a Short-billed Dowitcher. There were 23 Great Egrets here along with a Green Heron and Black-crowned Night-Heron. Several Marsh Wrens were singing as well as at least two Soras, one being a juvenile. The Village area provided a Cooper's Hawk and Eastern Phoebe. A short walk along the eastern edge of the Big Woods produced a singing Scarlet Tanager and what appeared to be possibly two families of White-breasted Nuthatches competing vocally. Yesterday, Glenn found some additional good birds on the east side of the Lab including an Alder Flycatcher, Purple Martins, Swamp Sparrows and an immature Orchard Oriole. Dave

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