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January, 2015 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Friday, January 30, 2015

Except for a little wind it was a very pleasant day for birding with sunny skies and seasonal temps. Again a quick stop at the Red Barn produced a large hawk in the area of Owls Nest Woods. The bright sun made it hard to confirm its identity so I went east from the parking lot to reduce glare and scope the bird and, as I thought, it was only a Red-tailed Hawk (no intent to slight red-tails). But on the positive side, I did spot a Northern Shrike perched atop a tree down by the Sea of Evanescence that I likely would have missed from the parking lot. After all the geese by Main Ring Lake last Sunday, today there were only two ; however, there were several each of Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. I did search for Long-eared Owls inside the Ring after yesterday's Short-eared Owl report but only came up with a single chickadee. The first Great Horned Owl nest of the year was located inside the Main Ring with the male nearby. The waterfowl highlights of the day were the first Bufflehead (a female on an Injector Moat) and a Snow Goose (Blue - on Kidney Pond with several hundred Canada Geese). The Ed Center Feeders were barren of both seed and birds. After filling them, several Black-capped Chickadees were on them before I reached the car. They were soon joined by Mourning Doves, Downy Woodpeckers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a White-breasted Nuthatch and several brilliant Northern Cardinals all in less than three minutes. Finally, while looking for a second owl's nest, I flushed another Great Horned Owl which was soon mobbed by a record number (over the last few years) of 22 American Crows. Dave

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Roads and Grounds personal located a Short-eared Owl in the Main Ring grassland today, this is the first one for the year. Dave

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Strong winds made the seasonable temps and light snow quite miserable, especially when facing into the wind without glasses. Main Ring Lake had about a couple of thousand Canada Geese on the ice and in the water. Thirteen Greater White-fronted Geese flushed and flew west. Later, a lone Snow Goose took off with a group of Canada Geese. There was also a small number of both Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers in the open water. Nothing new was found in the Main Injector Moats, but we did have good looks at a Sharp-shinned Hawk and also an American Kestrel in the area. Not a lot of activity at the Ed Center Feeders, but we did find a Fox Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow. Another White-throated Sparrow and a Song Sparrow were found at the Roads and Grounds Feeders. The first American Black Ducks (5) of the year were found in Kress Creek. Finally, a couple of Lapland Longspurs were found among several dozen Horned Larks in the North Roads area. Dave

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weather was quite nice this morning; cloudy, temps above freezing and almost no wind. The intermittent snow flurries had no effect. That being said the birding was quite poor. The first bird of the day was again the best, a Northern Shrike in the fields between Lake Law and A.E. Sea. Unfortunately, with the recent mild weather, the House Sparrows have returned to the Garden Club. There was not much other activity in that area. Main Ring Lake has opened up a little more providing habitat for a couple hundred Canada Geese, several Mallards, several Common Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. Most areas were very quiet with the majority of passerine activity along the roads although the only birds found were American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Of the several woodpeckers found, one was a Hairy Woodpecker. Dave

Sunday, January 18, 2015

This morning it was quite warm (in the mid 30's) and cloudy with the sun peaking through later. Although waterfowl remain disappointing with just one Common Goldeneye in the Main Injector Moat, we did score a first of the year male Hooded Merganser at Bulrush Pond. There was a Northern Shrike back in the Main Injector area along with an American Kestrel. We also found a Rough-legged Hawk in the Main Ring. When we visited the Ed Center Feeders, they still had seed but no birds were seen. It was strange because we heard birds close by but did not see any; there seemed to have been a Cooper's Hawk flyby that scattered the birds. Slowly, after awhile, the birds started to reappear but nothing really special showed up. After this we came up with a flyover Great Blue Heron, an American Crow (on the west side of the Lab), several Horned Larks and a White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another cold morning today. It starting near zero but increased to about twenty degrees by noontime. The first bird of the morning was the best - it was a Northern Shrike perched in a tree in the land between Lake Law and A.E. Sea. The Garden Club had a fair amount of activity but nothing too significant including Red-tailed Hawk (pair), Mourning Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatches, European Starlings, American Tree Sparrows, a Song Sparrow and Northern Cardinals. Most of the remainder of the morning was spent in several woodlots. Most were not too active while others showed more bird activity than from the last month or so. Mostly the typical winter birds were found, like those listed above, although I did find a pair of Great Horned Owls inside the Main Ring. The only waterfowl found were 9 Common Goldeneyes in the Main Injector Moat. Nearby, a small flock of Horned Larks were feeding at the edge of the road. Finally, a couple of Swamp Sparrows were found along the edge of Lake Logo. Dave

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Temperatures were in the upper 20's this morning; this was a pleasant change from recent mornings. The only open water remains the Main Injector Moats. The only waterfowl sightings worth mentioning were several Common Goldeneyes and a Common Merganser. Again in the Main Injector area were 20-25 Lapland Longspurs feeding along the road shoulders. A very nice orangey breasted juvenile Northern Harrier was also found in this area. Several flocks of birds feeding along East Wilson Road contained Horned Larks, American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Nothing of significance was found at the Ed Center Feeders, while the more active Roads and Grounds feeders produced three White-throated Sparrows and several Oregon-looking Dark-eyed Juncos. Also found was the first American Kestrel of the year. Finally, we observed a couple of nice Rough-legged Hawks as they interacted just north of Casey's Pond. This appeared to be a hunting territory dispute as one hawk flew off while the other settled into a treetop. Dave

Thursday, January 8, 2015

While at the Lab late this morning I had a few minutes free before a meeting so I took a trip around the Main Ring and Injector areas and was rewarded with two flocks of Lapland Longspurs (40 in MR and 12 in Inj. area). Dave

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The new fallen snow was a pleasant change from our nearly snowless December, with the sunny skies adding to its beauty. Unfortunately, the near zero temps helped neutralize the situation. Bird wise it was another very quiet morning in most locations of the Lab. Waterfowl were only found in the Main Injector Moats. Found were the usual Canada Geese, Mallards, Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers, all but the geese were in small numbers. The Garden Club had some activity which only included Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees and Northern Cardinals. The only raptors were a couple of Red-tailed Hawks. Other expected birds found in various woodlots were Mourning Doves, a Great Horned Owl, Downy Woodpeckers, a White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robins, American Tree Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow (Roads and Grounds Feeders), Dark-eyed Juncos and House Sparrows. Peter had much of the same on Sunday in addition to a couple of Lesser Scaup. Dave

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