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January, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, January 31, 2016

We had a very fowl morning of birding today, birdwise that is (especially for a day in January). The weather was actually quite pleasant, being overcast and warm with minimal wind. Once again Canada Geese were everywhere joined by both a Snow Goose (blue morph) and a Greater White-fronted Goose. Joining the usual Mallards (again large numbers of these also) were Gadwall, American Black Ducks, a Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redheads, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and a Ruddy Duck. Finally, the Tundra Swans of Wednesday were joined by several more - now the count is over 50 birds (again on Main Ring Lake). Many of the geese and other waterfowl were found on a still mostly frozen A.E. Sea. Also, still around were a Pied-billed Grebe and several American Coots (11). The Northern Shrike was again staked-out in the Sparrow Hedge Area. Both Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were found along A.E. Sea. Several male and one female Ring-necked Pheasants were found along North Eola Road. Interestingly, several hunters were parked along South Eola training their dogs about a hour and half previous to this sighting of the pheasants. Make your own conclusions. Other birds of interest found during the morning were Northern Harriers (2), a Northern Flicker, Horned Larks and Eastern Bluebirds. Later in the day Denis added a Canvasback and stated that about half the Tundra Swans still remained. He also found a Cooper's Hawk and an American Kestrel. Dave

Friday, January 29, 2016

The weather was fairly average for a late January day and did not affect the birds. For the most part the waterfowl around the Lab remains the same with Redheads (2), Common Goldeyes and Common Mergansers all in the Main Injector Moat. One exception was the number of Canada Geese. The numbers were down - well over half of what have been typically found recently. The second exception turned out to be the sighting of the day - approximately 40 Tundra Swans were in Main Ring Lake (mostly sitting, lying and standing on the ice). Other water birds sighted were a Pied-billed Grebe and about a dozen American Coots. Other birds found during the morning were a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk (the only bird in the Garden Club), a Great Horned Owl, a Northern Shrike (again in the Sparrow Hedge Area) and several White-throated Sparrows (at Ed Center Feeders). Marcia and Gail were again in the Lab this morning and, in addition to many of the same birds I found, added a couple of American Kestrels, a Horned Lark and, at the feeders, White-crowned Sparrows (4). Dave

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It was much warmer than last Sunday, but the moderate wind and dampness did cause some discomfort. We started out with a Northern Shrike, again, in the Sparrow Hedge area. The Village produced a Cooper's Hawk and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Waterfowl found were Canada Geese (lots near any open water), Redheads, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. About a half dozen American Coots were also found. Interestingly, in one of the open Main Ring Moats, we found over 100 intermediate sized Canada Geese. They all appeared to be the same smaller size, probably Lesser's. None appeared to be Cackling Geese. While checking out the Buffalo savannah owl's nest, a Red-tailed Hawk flew in and appears to be taking up residence for this year's breeding season. Other birds seen during the morning were a Northern Harrier, an American Kestrel, several Horned Larks, a Brown Creeper, Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It was cool and mostly cloudy, but the minimal wind helped make for a very pleasant morning of birding. The waterfowl remain about the same and mostly found on the Main Injector Moat. Again, the moat was filthy with Canada Geese. Others found were Redheads (2), Common Goldeneye, (5) Common Mergansers (2) and also several American Coots (4). One highlight of the morning was finding 7 species of sparrows including American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos (many variations including at least one Oregon). After several weeks the Ed Center Feeders have reestablished themselves and later all but one of the above sparrows were again found there. Other birds found during the morning were Hairy Woodpeckers, a Northern Shrike (Sparrow Hedge area), Eastern Bluebirds, Red-winged Blackbirds and a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It was much colder than last Sunday and, again, we mostly birded from the car. Not much was found. Still loads of Canada Geese around, mostly in the Main Injector (the only sizable open water area). As the last couple of weeks, there are Red-tailed Hawks almost anywhere you go. The concentration of geese in the moat along with the steam from their bodies and respiration made it hard to see the smaller birds. Though, we did find a Redhead, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Three White-crowned Sparrows (1-adult and 2-immatures) were found at the feeders. Only one very small flock (less than 10 birds) of Horned Larks was found along West Wilson, but it did include one Lapland Longspur (sadly the best we could do for a bird of the day). Denis didn't do much better late yesterday. He did have most of the same waterfowl seen this week and some Horned Larks. The Eastern Bluebirds he found near the Main Injector were a good find. His best was three Short-eared Owls along North Eola Road. Dave

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Another near perfect, mid-January morning for birding in the Lab today. The temps started in the hi 20's and ended in the low 40's, with partly sunny skies and almost no wind. I started out with a Northern Shrike in the Sparrow Hedge area and a distant raptor that flew off before I got my scope out. A singing Red-breasted Nuthatch was quite active in the Village. A couple of small flocks of Horned Larks were again found along East Wilson Rd. Also in that area several American Crows were harassing, the bird of the day, a beautiful, dark morph Rough-legged Hawk. Leaving this area there was an American Kestrel munching on a freshly caught small rodent (almost the exact location where we saw the same occurrence on Sunday). Main Ring Lake was just about totally frozen over; therefore, the bulk of the Canada Geese were in the still open Injector Moat area. Also found there were a couple of Redheads, a Common Merganser and an American Coot. Also found during the morning were a Great Blue Heron, a Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpeckers (3), Song Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow and a Red-winged Blackbird (female). Marcia and Gail were also out today enjoying the great weather. They added another American Coot and a Pied-billed Grebe in the Main Injector Moat. They found their Horned Larks (19) along Main Ring Road. Also in that area they found a Northern Harrier, a couple more American Kestrels, American Robins and a Song Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The very cold temps this morning created perfect conditions for car birding. Again Main Ring Lake was loaded with Canada Geese. There was also at least one Greater White-fronted Goose. Other waterfowl found were Northern Shovelers (2-DUSAF), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and first-of the year Redheads (MRL and M. Injector Moat). A couple of Northern Harriers were found along with at least 3 American Kestrels (it's good to see them still sticking around). Other birds found were a Pied-billed Grebe, Herring Gulls, Horned Larks (several small flocks on north side of Lab), White-crowned Sparrows and House Finches. Dave

Thursday, January 7, 2016

It was an exceptional , early January morning for birding being mostly cloudy and calm with above average temps. Main Ring Lake, though mostly frozen over, was loaded with thousands of Canada Geese. Other waterfowl seen today were Greater White-fronted Geese (MRL), Cackling Geese (MRL), American Black Ducks, Mallards, a Northern Shoveler pair (DUSAF) (probably same pair seen by the girls yesterday), a Northern Pintail (MRL), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Several each of Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were found. A Red-tailed Hawk was seen sitting on the perch above Osprey Nest 2. A couple of American Crows were patrolling near the center of the Lab; they're mostly found on the east side. Other birds of interest were a couple of Northern Harriers, a Rough-legged Hawk, an American Kestrel, a Great Horned Owl, a Hairy Woodpecker and a Northern Shrike. Dave

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning doing their typical monitoring near the center of the Lab. Main Ring Lake produced a Greater White-fronted Goose, a pair of Northern Shovelers, Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers. They are still finding American Kestrels (3) in the area. In addition to a good number of typical winter and year round residents (all new for the year), they had a Herring Gull, Horned Larks (6), Eastern Bluebirds (2), American Robins (over 3), and Fox Sparrows (2). Dave

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