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February, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, February 28, 2016

It was quite windy, mostly overcast with temps well above average. Unfortunately, the wind became the prominent factor in today's birding efforts, mostly effecting the land birds. Most of the same waterfowl found by Glenn over the past couple of days were again found. The only highlights beyond those birds were a Cooper's Hawk and an immature Bald Eagle. Dave

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Over the last two days (Fri - Sat), Glenn came up with a list of most of the recently seen waterfowl, plus a new year bird. Found in a combination of locations around the Lab were Canada Goose (again lower numbers), Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Mallards (also in lower numbers), Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes (over 300 total for both days), Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers (over 500 each day) and a Red-breasted Merganser (new for year). Other highlight birds he found were Northern Harriers (4), a Sandhill Crane (first of the year), a Great Horned Owl, a Short-eared Owl (inside the Main Ring), Eastern Bluebirds and Horned Larks. Also on Friday, among hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls, an immature Glaucous Gull was found on Lake Law. Dave

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This was the Day of the Merganser. Common Mergansers were represented in most open waters around the Lab with over 200 on Lake Law and another 200 on Main Ring Lake. In addition, there were over a dozen Hooded Mergansers throughout the Lab. Trying as hard as I could, I did not find a red-breasted among all these birds. The variety of waterfowl was a little less than that found on Sunday. Others found today around the Lab were American Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers (about 30 on A.E. Sea), Canvasbacks, Redheads (15), Ring-necked Ducks (12), Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, and Common Goldeneyes. Thirteen American Coots were in the Main Injector Moat. A Great Blue Heron was in the center of the Main Ring, the first I've seen in over a month. A couple of Killdeer were in the Swenson Road Horse Paddock, first of the year. Ring-billed Gulls were the majority gull of the day. Not much else to report. The strong winds did not promote much activity among the passerines. Found were Great Horned Owls (3), Hairy Woodpeckers (they've become more common over the last year or so), a Horned Lark, and a Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, February 21, 2016

There was partial open water everywhere around the Lab this morning. The weather was mild, but the overcast skies did not allow the temps to rise much above normal. Like Denis' visit yesterday, the bulk of our birding interests were directed towards waterfowl. Found during the morning were Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. The remainder of the birds of interest found this morning was quite short and included American Coot, Ring-billed Gull (surprisingly the first of the year), Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Bluebird, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Denis' group did not fare much better, but they did come up with a Yellow-rumped Warbler (a first for the year). Dave

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Denis had a nice list of 35 birds from two trips to the Lab today. The weather was fantastic for a late February day. The list was mostly about waterfowl which included Greater White-fronted Geese, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Other birds of note from the list were Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, American Coot, Short-eared Owl (from his evening visit), Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird (both of these were new for the year). Dave

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spring was in the air this morning. The warmer temps and bright sun was apparently very stimulating to a number of birds around the Lab. Several Northern Cardinals were singing, Downy Woodpeckers were drumming, a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers were interacting very vocally and a couple of Red-bellied Woodpeckers were interacting quite physically (feathers were flying). In addition, many of the other typical resident and winter birds were quite active. It was also fun to watch the Common Goldeneyes doing their interesting courtship displays (this has been going on for several weeks). Again nothing new was found around the Lab. Waterfowl were spread around various open waters. Included were Gadwall (pair), Green-winged Teal, a Northern Pintail, Redheads (2), Bufflehead (3-females), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. There were also about a dozen American Coots around the Main Injector Moat. Some of the other birds found were a Great Horned Owl, Horned Larks, American Robins (making themselves quite noticeable), a Song Sparrow, a White-crowned Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds. Dave

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where have all the geese gone? Probably to the river as Denis said. They're certainly not in the Lab. Several hundred were in the Main Injector Moat and associated open waters, but the fields and other areas were barren (of geese that is). That being said there were some other waterfowl to be found, most being in the Main Injector Moat (most everything else was frozen over). Found were American Black Ducks, Redheads (2), Buffleheads (3-Females), Common Goldeneyes (most numerous species about 50), and Common Mergansers. Several American Coots were also mixed in. The Ed Center Feeders were active but not teeming with life. Notable, beyond the expected winter residents, were a Hairy Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrows (3), and a White-crowned Sparrow. Only Horned Larks and a large flock of American Tree Sparrows (25-30) were in the North Roads area. Denis' group pretty well matched this and added a Green-winged Teal. Dave

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A quick, late, stop at the Lab to fill the feeders produced a Short-eared Owl and three Northern Harriers all hunting in the Eola Rd./Batavia Rd area. As expected most of the waters in the Lab are becoming frozen over again. Main Ring Lake had only a sliver of open water. Nothing new for the week was found. Dave

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning having, as a highlight, a Short-eared Owl in this year's typical location east of Eola Road and north of Batavia Road. What made this sighting interesting, was that the owl was found at 9 am perched on a post. Waterfowl found in the area of the Rings were Gadwall (2), Redheads (2), Bufflehead (2), Common Goldeneye (3) and Common Mergansers (13). For raptors, they had Northern Harriers, a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks, and an American Kestrel. Other birds of interest were American Coots (6), Horned Larks and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, February 7, 2016

It seemed colder than the above average temp of 40 plus this morning. This being due to the consistent wind, dampness and overcast skies (became sunny later). Geese numbers on the open waters were way down. We later found many in the corn and bean fields especially in areas associated to open fuddles. Found in the open waters on the east side of the Lab were Canada Geese, a Cackling Goose, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other water birds found were Lesser Scaup and an American Coot. Found in the area of the Ed Center Feeders were Hairy Woodpeckers, American Crows, a Brown Creeper, a White-crowned Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds. Other birds found were several Northern Harriers, a Great Horned Owl, a Northern Shrike and Horned Larks. Denis' group had most of the same birds in addition to adding a female Bufflehead (first of the year). Dave

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It was a very pleasant morning for birding. The Lab was sunny with mild winds and average temps. This being said, there was nothing new to be found. There was much more open water at A.E. Sea bringing many more Canada Geese to the east side of the Lab. Joining them were the Tundra Swans (9), American Black Ducks (pr), Northern Pintails (12 plus) and Common Mergansers. There could have been more hidden by the mass of geese. Additional water birds found in the area of the Main and Injector Rings were Pied-billed Grebe (our winter resident), Redheads, Common Goldeneyes and American Coots (8). The Big Woods were quiet. Only the expected resident woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees were found. Other birds of interest found during the morning were a Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebirds and Red-winged Blackbirds (flock of over a dozen). Dave

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