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January, 2012 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Author: Peter Kasper

December February
Jan 28Jan 27Jan 25Jan 22Jan 18Jan 15Jan 11Jan 8
Jan 5Jan 3Jan 1

Saturday, January 28

The morning for the DuPage Birding Club field trip was beautiful but extremely windy. As a consequence, birding was limited. The bird of the day was a Bald Eagle again in the Casey Pond area. This is probably the same bird seen two weeks ago in the same location and after a week's absence appears to have returned. Other highlights of the morning were American Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron and American Coot. Dave

Friday, January 27

Birding late this afternoon and evening was both pleasant and rewarding. The warm weather has opened sizable holes in the ice cover of most bodies of water. Main Ring Lake was covered by hundreds of both Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes. A first- for-the-year Ruddy Duck was also found in the Main Ring Moat. American Coots are still on the Main Injector Moat and a lone pair of Hooded Mergansers are still on Bulrush Pond. Some other interesting birds were four Great Blue Herons, an American Kestrel on the Main Ring Berm, several flocks of Horned Larks and a Song Sparrow. A pair of Mourning Doves were seen copulating on a power line along Road A. Several Great Horned Owls were in two different locations and a Eastern Screech-Owl responded inside the Ring area. The highlight of the day was seeing seven Northern Harriers, together at times, and two Short-eared Owls interacting along North Eola Road. Then four of the harriers and one of the owls started circling above a stand of several trees. Odd I thought, until I looked closer into the trees and found a Great Horned Owl perched in one of the trees. After awhile the harriers got bored and dispersed while the Short-eared Owls disappeared. Dave

Wednesday, January 25

It was a very nice morning for birding today with above average temperatures and little to no wind. The Sparrow Hedge area had little to provide as far as birds are concerned but the beaver house on A. E. Sea is progressing well. Open water inside the Ring area produced several first of the year Ring-necked Ducks along with American Black Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and an American Coot. Three American Crows were also inside the Ring while Eastern Bluebirds were seen or heard in several locations. Some other birds of interest were Great Blue Heron, American Robin, Song Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. The birds of the day were a couple of Long-eared Owls also inside the Ring. Dave

Sunday, January 22

Even though the morning was cold and windy some interesting birds were found. The north roads area had two nice raptors hunting the fields. First was a young male Northern Harrier followed later by a beautiful light Rough-legged Hawk. A couple of flocks of Horned Larks were feeding on the plowed roads but only one Lapland Longspur was spotted among them this week. A Great Horned Owl was also flushed from one of the wood lots. A Wilson's Snipe and a Swamp Sparrow were found along some open creeks. Several American Coots were found in one of the Main Injector moats. Some other birds of note were American Black Duck, Great Blue Heron, and Herring Gull. Dave

Wednesday, January 18

The afternoon birding started with a beautiful male Northern Harrier hunting the western edge of the Dog Training field. Later another female harrier was seen in the area. About 40 Common Mergansers were in Main Ring Lake which was about 10 percent open. Among the Ed Center feeder birds was a Song Sparrow, while Eastern Bluebirds were heard in the woods behind the feeders. Along Outer Ring Road a Northern Flicker was perched in a low tree and an American Kestrel was hunting the adjoining field. As for the main objective, three Great Horned Owls were found, an Eastern Screech-Owl responded to a call as did a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, January 15

Though the morning started out fairly cold, it warmed up sufficiently to provide us with some very good birding. Raptors were the biggest hit of the day starting with the Bald Eagle still hanging out near Casey's Pond. Others seen were a flyover Northern Harrier, a couple of American Kestrels, fairly good looks at a Sharp- shinned Hawk, and a distant, first of the season, Rough-legged Hawk . Another highlight of the morning were large numbers of both Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs in the north roads area. Not much to report on waterfowl with just a female Common Goldeneye and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. A Wilson's Snipe was flushed inside the Ring while Red-winged Blackbirds are still around with a couple of females seen. Previous sightings were all males. Dave

Wednesday, January 11

Another beautiful, warm day for the second week of January greeted me for a morning's birding at Fermilab today. The Sparrow Hedge area produced over a dozen species with the highlight being a Northern Shrike. Other birds worth mentioning were three flyover American Crows, a Swamp Sparrow and a Red-winged Blackbird. The Buffalo savannah was quite active, the highlight being up to a dozen Eastern Bluebirds. Also the northern stick nest in the area which has been used by Great Horned Owls the past several years had a pair of Red-tailed Hawks working it. The southern stick nest, used by the Red-tailed Hawks in recent years, was empty. Main Ring Lake, which was 90 percent open, had many Common Mergansers, several Common Goldeneyes, and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. A beautiful Sharp-shinned Hawk was perched along the edge of the Main Ring Moat. Birds of note from other areas were American Black Duck, several Great Horned Owls and Song Sparrows. Stopping at the Ed Center Feeders I ran into Peter. He mentioned that a Bald Eagle was spotted on the west side of Casey's Pond. It was still there when I went to this location. Dave

Sunday, January 8

Another beautiful morning greeted us today; certainly not your typical January birding conditions. The first Cackling Geese of the year were seen today in good numbers. They were among several thousand Canada Geese in partially open Main Ring Lake. Also a couple of Northern Harriers were spotted flying through the area just west of the lake shore. It was good to see an American Kestrel standing guard atop the kestrel nest box near the end of Swenson Road. They successfully bred here last summer. Other birds of note in the Ring area were a Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, American Crow, American Robin and Song Sparrow. Later Peter also reported an opossum foraging around the feeders. Dave

Thursday, January 5

A beautiful morning, which warmed up soon after the sun got above the trees, produced some interesting birds. First a Red-winged Blackbird was spotted in the Sparrow Hedge area along with a couple of Blue Jays. Three Great Blue Herons were sunning themselves on the west shore of Swan Lake. A Wilson's Snipe was flushed along Swenson Road Creek. Finally, a Swamp Sparrow was found among several American Tree Sparrows on the shores of Lake Logo. Dave

Tuesday, January 3

Late afternoon and evening birding today produced some interesting birds. The North roads produced several Horned Larks. A couple of Northern Harriers were hunting the fields along Eola Road north of Batavia Road. About seventy-five Common Goldeneyes were utilizing the Main Injector Ponds. An American Kestrel was feeding on a small rodent atop the Osprey nest. Finally, it proved to be a good owl day with a pair Great Horned Owls, a hunting Short-eared Owl, a responding Eastern Screech-Owl and a

Sunday, January 1

Denis was out this morning in the strong winds and did quite respectfully with 28 species to start the year and a new five year survey period. One of his better birds was a Gadwall in the Swenson Road Pond. Other waterfowl recorded were American Black Duck, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, and Common Merganser. Other notable birds seen were Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, White-breasted Nuthatch and Barred Owl. Dave

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