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May, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It was windy this morning but that was only a minor factor compared to the mosquitoes -- they dictated many of our birding locations. The bird of the day was a soaring adult Bald Eagle being harassed by blackbirds. A Sandhill Crane flew low over the Sparrow Hedge heading north. Some of the other highlights were Wood Ducks, an American Kestrel (hovering high near the Main Injector), Caspian Terns, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Least Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatchers (found in many areas), Sedge Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, a Tennessee Warbler, Dickcissels (are returning in increasing numbers) and Orchard Orioles. Osprey Nests 1 %26 2 were still being brooded while their respective mates were nearby. Nest 3, however, was empty on our first pass with one of the pair nearby. Later, both birds were found standing on the nest. Dave

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Although Marcia and Gail's morning monitoring consisted of mostly the expected summer resident birds, they did come up with one real winner - an Olive-sided Flycatcher. This was only the second sighting in the Lab over the last 10 years. Other highlights for the morning were an American Kestrel, a Spotted Sandpiper, Warbling Vireos (2), Red-eyed Vireos (2), Sedge Wrens (4), Cedar Waxwings (3 - to my knowledge the first of the year), a Chestnut-sided Warbler (again only one migrant warbler), Henslow's Sparrows (3), a Savannah Sparrow, Bobolinks (2) and an Orchard Oriole. Dave

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Conditions were great for a grassland, pre-season monitoring session this morning, being sunny, warm with mild winds. To start out I passed Osprey Nest 3 and found an Osprey nestled into brooding position deep in the nest. About the only highlights of the monitor session were a higher than normal (for this early in the season) of Sedge Wrens (10) and a couple of Grasshopper Sparrows. Also found were Savannah Sparrows (6), Henslow's Sparrows (3), Dickcissels (1 pair), Bobolinks (27) and Eastern Meadowlarks (16). The only transient bird found was a Tennessee Warbler after the monitoring session. Dave

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This morning was beautiful weather-wise, warm with mild winds. Unfortunately, the birding was not as pleasing. The Western Flycatcher reported earlier in the week was not relocated today. The only migrant warblers found, mostly in single numbers, were Tennessee Warblers, a Black-throated Green Warbler and an American Redstart. Osprey Nest 2 was being brooded, while we observed a change of brooding responsibilities at Nest 1. Osprey Nest 3 on the other hand has proved more interesting. Roads and Grounds put up a new platform almost identical to the Nest 2 platform being used the last several years. Unfortunately, for some reason, the pair at Nest 3 chose to rebuild a nest on a different power pole about 1/4 mile away from the new platform. On Sunday the pair were found just standing on this new nest. The only waterfowl of note were a pair of Wood Ducks in a tree and a Ruddy Duck. A Caspian Tern flew over Lake Law. All other birds found were expected summer breeders. Dave

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Being gone for several weeks, including the height of the spring migration, I don't have the time to produce comprehensive entries for this period. I will try, however, to list as many of the highlights for this period from information given to me by Marcia Nye, Gail Chastain, Dave Shemanske, Mark Donnelly, Glenn Perricone and Peter Kasper. My impression is that again Fermi had a relatively poor and narrow migration for warblers and other passerines. Shorebirds have also been unremarkable. The Spring Bird Count was on the low side with 91 species for the day. On the other hand Peter and Glenn produced over 100 species on the Sunday morning of the following week. Here is a list of the highlights for the last weeks: Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Virginia Rail, Sora, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Spotted Sandpipers (seen in past breeding area), Black-bellied Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, American Woodcock, Caspian Tern, Black-billed Cuckoo, Barred Owl, Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, Red-headed Woodpecker (only one sighting to my knowledge), Alder Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Purple Martin, Tufted Titmouse, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Veery, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Wood Thrush, Northern Mockingbird (several sightings in different locations), American Pipit, Northern Waterthrush, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler (numerous reports), Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Henslow's Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Dickcissel and Orchard Oriole. Dave

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