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July, 2014 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The morning started mostly sunny and comfortable but warmed through the morning. The mosquitoes were much less of an problem than in the last several weeks. Most of the activity on A.E. Sea was at the south end. Found there were 18 Great Egrets, a pair of American Black Ducks, several Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers, 10 Caspian Terns and a Belted Kingfisher. There was still a good number of Cedar Waxwings in Owls Nest Woods. The cherry trees in the Sparrow Hedge were actively being harvested of ripe cherries by American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Red-winged Blackbirds and American Goldfinches. Still actively singing in the area were several Willow Flycatchers and a Bell's Vireo. A Solitary Sandpiper and singing Marsh Wrens were found in the Dusaf Pond area. Interestingly, the west side of North Eola Rd had more singing Henslow's Sparrows today than at any other time of the season. The fact that the east side of the road had just been mowed may have had something to do with the concentration on the east side. Birds found on the west side of the lab were Wood Ducks (a family), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Warbling Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (a family), and a very agitated Swamp Sparrow (may have a second brood, the first found in mid-June). Marcia and Gail also had some singing birds including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel and 2 juvenile Bobolinks. Dave

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The morning was warm and mostly sunny but not uncomfortable. The northern end of A.E. Sea showed quite a bit of activity starting with about twenty Great Egrets and several Great Blue Herons. Shorebirds are starting to show up in small numbers. Found in A.E. Sea were Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpipers. At Dusaf we added a couple of Solitary Sandpipers in addition to a young Cooper's Hawk, a Wood Duck and several Blue-winged Teal. Some of the other birds found were Yellow-billed Cuckoo (heard in the Big Woods), Hairy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, and Orchard Oriole (found near northwest corner of Big Woods). Some grassland birds were still singing including Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels. All four young Ospreys fledged sometime during this past week. This morning three were back on the nest apparently enjoying a fish meal while the fourth fledgling and one of the adults looked on from nearby power poles. Dave

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Glenn was finally able to confirm breeding for the pair of Bell's Vireos we have been monitoring in the Sparrow Hedge area this morning. He was able to view both parents with a pair of young birds. In addition, he heard a Black-billed Cuckoo in the area of Batavia and Eola Roads on Saturday. Dave

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Conditions were cloudy with seasonal temps, but the major discomfort factor remains the vicious mosquitoes. Upon entering the Lab, a dozen Great Egrets were seen from Batavia Rd. in A.E. Sea and another eight were in Dusaf Pond. The Bell's Vireos appear to have moved from the area they had been frequenting, but one could be heard in the distance. The only other bird of note in the Sparrow Hedge area was a flushed American Woodcock. In the Dusaf area we found a Green Heron and heard a singing Eastern Phoebe. The four Osprey chicks were alone on the Main Injector nest with the parents on adjacent power poles on either side of the nest. One of the chicks was working his wings quite well as the others watched. There is still some activity in the grasslands. A juvenile Dickcissel was spotted along Eola Rd. while others were singing nearby. A family of Eastern Meadowlarks with about four young birds was found in the Main Injector area. Henslow's Sparrows were still singing in a couple of locations. Finally, the Main Injector area also produced a Spotted Sandpiper. Dave

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It was another beautiful morning at the Lab except for the mosquitoes which seemed to have turned it up another notch. There were still lots of Cedar Waxwings hanging out in Owl's Nest Woods. In addition, the woods on the east shore of the Sea of Evanescence was also loaded with waxwings. These birds, in both locations, mostly appeared to be hawking insects. The bulk of the recent hordes of Tree Swallows appear to have moved on. Also in the Sparrow Hedge area the same Bell's Vireos were quite active. It was the best day for American Kestrels all year with a family of at least three in the northeast area of the Lab and a pair in the south Eola Rd. area. Both Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels were still singing in several areas. Some of the other birds found during the morning were Turkey Vulture (hanging around a possible nest location), Horned Lark, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Vesper Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weather conditions were nice and mild this morning, while the gnats and mosquitoes were exceptionally irritating in most locations of the Lab. We relocated the calling Bell's Vireo pair in the Sparrow Hedge area. A pair of American Crows were also seen in this area. A Black-crowned Night-Heron was found in the deeper water of Dusaf Pond searching for food - a strange sight. There was also a flyover Cooper's Hawk nearby. In the north Eola Rd. area we found Vesper Sparrows, and both Orchard Orioles and Baltimore Orioles. Also added were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Village area) and a singing Grasshopper Sparrow (Buffalo Fields). Finally, we were able to confirm that all four chicks in the Main Injector Osprey nest are alive and well. Dave

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The morning started with a post-breeding survey of the grassland monitor locations. Except for the extremely wet conditions from the overnight rains, the morning was quite pleasant. The grasslands are still quite alive with activity and many of the quality birds were well represented. Only one Grasshopper Sparrow and no Sedge Wrens were found, but Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks were all plentiful in the expected locations. An American Woodcock was spotted inside the Main Ring while going between monitor points. The best bird of the day was a Laughing Gull found circling Lake Law then heading to A.E. Sea, this was a first sighting for the Lab. Some other birds of interest were a Bald Eagle (again in the Dusaf Pond area), Caspian Tern (two by Lake Law), a Ruby-crowned Hummingbird, two Bell's Vireo (a pair apparently guarding a nest), Cedar Waxwings (over sixty in Owls Nest Woods) and a Vesper Sparrow. Dave

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