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June, 2017 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Thursday, June 29, 2017

While I was in doing my final Grassland Breeding Bird Survey of the season at set points around the Lab, both Marcia and Gail were in doing their regular monitoring responsibilities in the Main and Injector Rings. The weather was very nice to start (5:15 am) being cloudy and mild with minimal wind. Unfortunately, the wind picked up after monitoring several points. This did keep some of the birds in check and made hearing some of their calls difficult. Between us we created a nice list of 64 birds found during the morning. Starting with the Ospreys, the girls had 2 adults by Nest 1, and 2 adults and 2 Juveniles at Nest 3. In my passes by Nest 1, I 'm pretty sure there are 2 young in it. The girls again watched a pair of American Kestrels with a juvenile at a nest box. A nice find they had was a male, Great Crested Flycatcher guarding a nest hole with a female in the cavity. The grassland breeding birds were not too impressive. The only standout was the 20 recorded Henslow's Sparrows. The 11 Sedge Wrens were also quite good. Beyond that, the numbers were quite poor with only 14 Dickcissels , 11 Bobolinks and only 5 Eastern Meadowlarks. My best birds of the morning were a singing Wood Thrush and a female American Redstart. Other highlights we found were Pied-billed Grebes (2-singing), Great Egrets (5), a Turkey Vulture, Hooded Mergansers (2-A.E. Sea), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Sandhill Crane, a Caspian Tern, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Willow Flycatcher (singing), a Bell's Vireo, an American Crow, Marsh Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds, a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings, Vesper Sparrows (2) and a Savannah Sparrow. Dave

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It must have been crowded in the Lab on June 21st since Marcia, Gail and Glenn were all in monitoring the birdlife. Both groups found the following highlight birds: Northern Flickers (Glenn had a pair with a begging young bird heard), Indigo Buntings, and both Orchard and Baltimore Orioles. Glenn added Pied-billed Grebes (3 singing males and a female with at least 2 chicks), a Great Egret, a Caspian Tern, a Great Horned Owl (three flushed from a tree-roost! Most likely adults and juvenile), a Brown Thrasher and Cedar Waxwings. The girls added a Green Heron, Ospreys (including at Nest 1 an adult on the nest and one nearby and at Nest 3 an adult on nest, 1 nearby, and 2 small heads in nest), American Kestrels (at a Nest box with 1 juvenile Kestrel sticking its head out and 2 adults nearby), a Savannah Sparrow, Dickcissels (9) and a Bobolink. Dave

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Glenn was back in the Lab on the 17th. A canceled field trip (due to rain which did not occur) allowed him some extra monitoring time in the Lab. From his list of birds, the highlights of that trip were a Turkey Vulture, a Cooper's Hawk, a Bald Eagle (immature bird flying over Casey's Pond), a Caspian Tern, Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, Dickcissels, and Bobolinks. Dave

Friday, June 16, 2017

Marcia and Gail were in on the 16th and noted 4 Osprey in the Main Injector area. Nest 1 had an adult on the side of the nest (chicks probably napping) and Nest 3 also had an adult on the side of the nest plus 2 chick heads showing above the edge of the nest. They also noted lots of Dickcissels singing in many locations. Other highlight birds were a pair of Sandhill Cranes, American Kestrels (2), Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings (here just about every visit lately), Savannah Sparrows, a pair of Orchard Orioles and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Glenn was in on the 15th doing some Breeding Bird Surveys. Some of the birds he found in various stages of breeding were several Wood Duck pairs in DUSAF, a Pied-billed Grebe (singing DUSAF), Purple Martins (nesting DUSAF), a singing Grasshopper Sparrow and many Henslow's Sparrows. Some other highlights of 53 birds he found were Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a Great Horned Owl, a Peregrine Falcon (immature bird flying over Arbor Day and Director Woods),an Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Meadowlarks, a Bobolink (flyover at North Eola Prairie) and a Baltimore Oriole at Arbor Day Site. Dave

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We got a break this morning in that clouds rolled in and kept most of the morning quite comfortable (mid 70's). The breeze (10-12 mph) also helped keep things cool. After the good morning Gail, Marcia and I had on Thursday, there were not many additions to the week's list found today. There was a family of Canada Geese on Lake Law; the most birds I have seen on the lake in several weeks. Of the 13 birds, it was hard to tell the adults from the juveniles, they are that big already. Also odd was a group of about a dozen boisterous Common Grackles usually not found in groups like that in June around the Lab. Other birds of interest found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes area were a Pied-billed Grebe (heard several times), a Wood Duck, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Northern Flicker, Willow Flycatchers, Marsh Wrens (many locations) and Brown Thrashers (3). Other highlights of the morning found in various locations of the Lab were Sandhill Cranes, a Spotted Sandpiper in an almost dry fuddle, a Caspian Tern (Denis also had another by A.E. Sea), Henslow's Sparrows, and Dickcissels (many locations). A Sora was heard in a very likely nesting location. Osprey update: At Nest 1, one adult was at the nest with 2 and possibly 3 Chicks. Nest 3 was quite crowded with both adults and 2 chicks and at Nest 2 there was no activity. Dave

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Another great morning for the first Grassland Bird Breeding Survey of the season, with almost no wind, mostly sunny and temps in the mid 50's for most of the survey period. Grassland highlights found during the survey were Sedge Wrens (11), Savannah Sparrows (1), Grasshopper Sparrows (2), Henslow's Sparrows (13), Dickcissel (13), Bobolinks (13) and Eastern Meadowlarks (12). The most noticeable differences from the pre-breeding survey of a couple of weeks ago were a large increase in Dickcissels (from 2 to 13) and a 50 percent increase in Sedge Wrens (from 5 to 11). On the downside the number of Bobolinks dropped from 25 to 13. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning. Here are their observations from Osprey Nests 1 and 3: " We checked on nests 1 and 3. Nest 1 has 2 adults and appeared to be feeding young but we couldn't see any heads for the youngsters. Nest 3 had 2 adults and we saw 2 heads (chicks)". In addition, Dave Shemanske reported seeing both Ospreys on Nest 2 several times this week including today, though I just missed them. We had quite a productive June morning. The girls and I combined for 69 species. Additional highlights were Pied-billed Grebes (2), Great Egrets (2), a Green Heron, a Turkey Vulture, a Bald Eagle, American Kestrels (2), a Spotted Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (3), most of the expected flycatchers plus an Alder Flycatcher (still singing in the same location in the Sparrow Hedge), a Bell's Vireo, Eastern Bluebirds (2), a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings (6), American Redstarts (2-males) and an Orchard Oriole (surprisingly we had no Baltimore Orioles). Dave

Sunday, June 4, 2017

This was probably the warmest start of a birding session of the season (70's), mostly cloudy with mild winds and lots of mosquitoes in some locations. A trip through the Sparrow Hedge area provided some highlights which included a singing Pied-billed Grebe, a Caspian Tern (becoming quite common), and several singing Alder Flycatchers. In addition, both a female Wood Duck and a female Mallard were found on A.E. Sea with ducklings to confirm their breeding status for this period. Back in the Village we ran across a couple of singing American Redstarts (late). The year's first Osprey chick was found on Nest 3 (Confirming this pair's first successful breeding inside the Lab.). Osprey Nest 1 also appears to be with chicks although none could be seen from our vantage point. Sandhill Cranes, a singing Warbling Vireo and Chimney Swifts were also found. Finally, the bird(s) of the day were about a half dozen Brewer's Blackbirds, the latest spring sighting in the Lab by 1 1/2 months. Dave

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The morning was quite pleasant again with sunny skies, temps in the mid 60's and, again, calm winds until around 9:00. Of the over 35 species found in the Sparrow Hedge area, most of which were the expected summer residents, the highlights were Wood Ducks (pr), a Pied-billed Grebe, Green Herons (4), a Caspian Tern, Willow Flycatchers, a singing Alder Flycatcher, a singing Bell's Vireo, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings (as well as many other locations in the Lab) and an Orchard Oriole (surprisingly No Baltimore's here). The only change in the Osprey Nests from what the girls reported yesterday is that at Osprey Nest 3 both adults were standing on the sides of the nest, but no other movement was visible. My guess is that the young have hatched. Other birds of note around the Lab were a Sora, an American Redstart (first migrant warbler found in over a week), Henslow's Sparrows, an Indigo Bunting, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and a Baltimore Oriole. I watched an American Robin fitting and forming a new nest for a possible second breeding session. Ryan Campbell reported a Cattle Egret later in the afternoon along Discovery Road. Dave

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