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June, 2015 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It was another very nice morning (warm, sunny with no wind) for birding with mosquitoes, again, the only downside. In the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region we had Caspian Terns, Chimney Swifts, a Bell's Vireo, a Sedge Wren, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings and Baltimore Orioles (a family). The North Roads and associated Fuddles produced a Blue-winged Teal, American Kestrels, a Sora, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers, more Caspian Terns, Vesper Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows. Found elsewhere were several Turkey Vultures and Henslow's Sparrows. The two chicks in Osprey Nest 1 are noticeably larger. We finally spotted a chick in Nest 2 and possibly a second. Nest 3 is looking more and more like a failed attempt with the female at the side of the nest watching over her failed young (assumed). On the plus side, both adults remain very loyal to this nest. Finally, Denis' group reported a Cooper's Hawk carrying prey and a Grasshopper Sparrow carrying food (most likely to young). Also, Glen in earlier in the week had many of these same birds. Dave

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It was time for another grassland survey and the weather was perfect for the survey as well as the mosquitoes; they were unrelenting. Skies were overcast and temps were perfect with very little wind through most of the morning. Some of the grassland species numbers were down from the survey conducted earlier in the month, most notability Sedge Wrens (10 earlier to 3 recent) and Bobolinks (26 earlier to 17 recent. Last year we had 29.). Most others were even although lower than same time last year. I'm wondering if the wet fields account for the lower numbers? There was one Grasshopper Sparrow. Some of the other interesting sightings were the Ruddy Duck (still at Sea of E), a Bald Eagle (probably a 3rd year bird with a predominately white tail and mottled body at S end of A.E. Sea), American Kestrels (2-different locations), Sandhill Cranes (2- N of Dog Fields), Spotted Sandpipers (2), Caspian Terns (5-in three locations), American Crows (both E and W sides), Horned Larks, Cliff Swallows (8-S end A.E.), Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings and a Vesper Sparrow. Both Osprey Nests 1 and 2 appeared as they did on Sunday, but at Nest 3 the female was off the nest all morning (4 different visits including one by the girls); this may indicate that the eggs may not be viable. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab today and had several very good sightings. First of all they also spotted the Sandhill Cranes. They probably had the same 2 Spotted Sandpipers by the Main Injector, but they were then joined by 3 tiny juveniles. In addition, they found another older juvenile in a different location (indicating two separate successful breeding pairs in the lab). It appears the two Green Herons they have been observing for over a month nested successfully and were joined by a juvenile bird. Other sightings of note were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Caspian Tern, a Red- headed Woodpecker, a Great Crested Flycatcher and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Overall, it was a great day to be at the Lab. Dave

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The weather was much improved today from what we experienced the last two Sundays. It was mostly cloudy, warm (but comfortable) with a moderate wind (helped discourage the mosquitoes). The best part is that we came up with some good birds. One of the best birds was a Ruddy Duck on the Sea of Evanescence. This sighting tied for the latest sighting at the Lab (for spring migration). Also found in the Sparrow Hedge-Lakes region were a Wood Duck, an American Woodcock, a Caspian Tern, a couple of Bell's Vireos and a Sedge Wren. The chicks were finally showing at Osprey Nest 1; we were able to see two. At Nest 2, no chicks were showing yet. The female was standing high, however, and offset in the nest. We were finally able to confirm brooding by the female at Nest 3. Other birds found during the morning were Sandhill Crane (2-in a fuddle north of Batavia Rd by the Dog Fields), Eastern Phoebe, American Crow, Purple Martin (3-Dusaf), Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The morning started out fine with cool temps, no wind and overcast skies. Mosquitoes were the only issue, due to the lack of wind. Every body of water in the Lab is overfilled and most depressions are now filled with water. Interestingly, most of the Mallards and Canada Geese were in the flooded fields and not in the lakes. A Sedge Wren was still singing in a small field between Lake Law and A.E. Sea. A Wood Duck was in A.E. Sea and an Osprey was hunting above. The rains started while I was along the Sparrow Hedge and did not stop the rest of the morning. Returning to the Red Barn a pair of Caspian Terns flew from A.E. Sea to Lake Law. Unfortunately, the rain was intense enough to make viewing the Osprey nests difficult. The female on Nest 2 (Nepese) was deep in the nest and showed little movement while the male was sleeping on the perch above. The female on Nest 1 showed some activity and at one point appeared to be feeding the young. The male flew in, landed on the next pole down with a large carp, and began feeding. Like Sunday it could neither be confirmed nor denied that the female was on Nest 3, but one adult was feeding near the nest (about 50 yards away). Peter added the first Black-crowned Night-Heron of the year later in the day. Dave

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The morning started just like last Sunday with rain which greatly impaired birding. Monitoring the Osprey nests provided no new information. The females of both Nests 1 and 2 were tight on their nests shielding the young from the rain. At Nest 3 we could not determine if the female was brooding or not (due to the depth of the nest) while the mate was feeding nearby. When the rains stopped we had some interesting sightings starting with our new grassland bird monitoring location where we found a Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Field Sparrows and Sedge Wrens. Next we had a Wood Duck drake on a power line (the wire); it flew off. Then on our return it was back on the line. The breeding season was evident with a Baltimore Oriole, an Eastern Kingbird, and a Savannah Sparrow all carrying food. In addition, young birds of the following species were found: Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Field Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird and Baltimore Oriole. Other interesting birds found were Sandhill Crane (pair in North Roads area), Horned Lark, Vesper Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager and Orchard Oriole. Peter noted seeing a Herring Gull and hearing about Wood Duck ducklings (in the Swan Lake canal) earlier in the week. Dave

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Marcia and Gail were at the Lab again this morning and had most of the expected summer birds. In addition, they had a Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpipers (2), Baltimore Orioles (2) and an Orchard Oriole. But their biggest news was that it appears that the female Osprey from the new nest (Nest 3) is brooding eggs. In their three trips to the nest throughout the day the female was at the nest each time. Two of these times she was nestled deep into the nest and one time she was standing to the side of the nest. Time will tell how successful this new pair of Osprey will be at the breeding process. Dave

Monday, June 8, 2015

It was a beautiful, early morning start to carry-out a grassland bird survey (1st breeding for 2015). The winds did pick up later in the morning, but the survey was over by then. Again no Grasshopper Sparrows were found. The numbers of the majority of the grassland birds of interest including Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlarks were about the same as the same period last year. The exceptions were that Savannah Sparrows were down one half but Sedge Wrens were up significantly (2014-0, 2015-10). Not much change with the Ospreys. Nest 1 - though the chicks cannot be seen, the female is clearly fussing over them. Nest 2 - no change. Nest 3 - still waiting to see if brooding will occur. Other birds of interest for the morning were Turkey Vulture, Blue-winged Teal, Semipalmated Sandpiper (2-Dusaf), Herring Gull, Great Horned Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, American Crow, Horned Lark (3), Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Vesper Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Our trip to the Lab this morning was quite short due to the early rain. The only bird of note was a fairly rare-for-the-season sighting of a Herring Gull on Lake Law. The sighting was doubly good because it was needed for Peter's Fermi Bird list for the first week of June. Blue-winged Teal and a Spotted Sandpiper were still at Dusaf. Can't report anything new on the Osprey nests since it was raining by the time we got to them and the birds were hunkered down. Then donuts. Dave

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The morning was warm, mostly overcast and breezy. The Lakes Region still has Blue-winged Teal, Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. The Sparrow Hedge area was alive with all of the expected summer breeding birds. There were two or more Bell's Vireos dueling it out vocally in one area. Other singing birds of interest were Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew out of Owl's Nest Woods over A.E. Sea then north up the sea. An adult male American Kestrel and a juvenile were in the area of the Main Injector nest box. A pair of Green Herons were also in this area. I must have miscounted the Hooded Merganser ducklings at the west side pond, because this morning there were six with the female not five. While observing the brooding bird on Osprey Nest 2 (Nepese), its mate landed alongside with a fairly large branch. In the process of positioning this branch, the brooding bird was stepped on, forced to turn away, then flush, circle the nest and finally land above on the perch. After the second bird sufficiently positioned the branch in the nest, it settled down to do the brooding. In observing Osprey Nest 1 (Main Injector) for a total of about 20 minutes or more during four different visits, the Ospreys were doing nest maintenance, bringing new materials, and each took short flights. In addition, they were feeding both themselves and young (although they could not be seen, it was clear chicks were being fed). Other highlight birds found this morning were Spotted Sandpipers, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings, Savannah Sparrows and Henslow's Sparrows. Dave

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and found most of the expected summer breeding birds in the Main Injector area the best being a Grasshopper Sparrow. After a surge of these in early May, they have been hard to come by recently. Some of the other highlights of what they found were Green Heron (at least 2), Willow Flycatchers (7-singing), both a Warbling Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo, Indigo Buntings, Bobolinks (7 males), and a Dickcissel. Dave

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