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October, 2014 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It was quite cool and windy early with little improvement throughout the morning. A quick stop at Lake Law produced only several Pied-billed Grebes, a Double-crested Cormorant, and a bunch of Canada Geese. Several Eastern Bluebirds were heard overhead. From the berm, I scoped A.E. Sea and only added more Pied-billed Grebes, several Ruddy Ducks and an American Coot. Green-winged Teal were added at Dusaf Pond. The Garden Club again had noticeably less birds than recent trips. Sparrow season is waning as witnessed by the increased number of American Tree Sparrows. The only other birds of note in this area were a flock of 8-10 Eastern Bluebirds, Dark-eyed Juncos (quite a large number have moved in since Sunday), and several Fox Sparrows. Most of my morning was spent on the west side of the Lab, with little to show for my time. The highlight was another flock of Fox Sparrows (about 10), some singing. Peter mentioned a Cackling Goose on Swan Lake and I later found it still there. There were over forty Greater White-fronted Geese in the Buffalo Fields with about the same number of Canada Geese. Marcia and Gail did quite well in the Main Ring and Main Injector adding Wood Duck, Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing (an impressive 170 birds), Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and Purple Finch (with a bunch of House Finches, probably the same female found last week). Lastly, Ryan reported an adult Bald Eagle over A.E. Sea early in the afternoon. Dave

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The morning started with a chill and not a cloud in the sky. Again, it warmed quickly. Waterfowl are slowly starting to take center stage for birding opportunities. Found in the Lakes region were increased numbers of Canada Geese, a Cackling Goose, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaups, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks. Other water associated birds were Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot and Wilson's Snipe (several flushed along A.E. Sea). We ended up with nine species of sparrows on the east side of the Lab, but numbers appear to rapidly diminishing. Found were American Tree Sparrows (our first of the season), Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (most abundant species), White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows (all in immature plumage), and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other birds of note for the morning were Sharp-shinned Hawks (2 flybys), American Crows (8-9 around the Garden Club), a Nashville Warbler (late migrant) and Rusty Blackbirds. Dave

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Here's a quick review of some of the highlight birds found last week in my absence. Marcia and Gail again reported both a Northern Harrier and an American Kestrel inside the Main Ring. Also found there were American Crow, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Towhee and Lincoln's Sparrow. In the Main Injector area they found an Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler and a female Purple Finch (always a tough one and a first for the season). Some of the highlights Peter reported from last Sunday were Greater White-fronted Geese (in Buffalo Fields), American White Pelican (a flyover), Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (still by Swan Lake), and a Nelson's Sparrow (a tough find this year). Dave

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It was overcast and warm with a slight breeze early but, after about an hour, a mist mixed with light showers began and continued throughout the remainder of the morning. This did not appear to affect the birds at all. Sparrows especially were quite active on the entire east side of the Lab. The north end of A.E. Sea was the least active; only Swamp Sparrows were found. The bird of the day was an American Bittern found, oddly enough, in the grass near the first intersection on the path toward the Sparrow Hedge. It flushed and flew into A.E. Sea marsh area. Interestingly, when I returned about two hours later it or another bittern was in the same location and flushed again. The whole south end of A.E. Sea and most of the Sparrow Hedge area was very active with sparrows. While Swamp Sparrows were still the most abundant, both Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows were a close second. There were also good numbers of White-crowned Sparrows. In addition, there were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Orange-crowned Warbler. A.E. Sea was totally covered by water but there was not much not variety in the waterfowl. Found here were Gadwall, Mallards, Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal. Lake Law held only Ruddy Ducks and a lone Pied-billed Grebe. As I drove into the Garden Club, two Red-tailed Hawks and a Cooper's Hawk flushed from the north end. This did not appear to affect the sparrow activity in the area. Among the many sparrows found were Chipping Sparrow (by far the most abundant), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Another Orange-crowned Sparrow was found here among several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quite chilly and sunny to start, but again, it warmed fast. We covered the A.E. Sea/Sparrow Hedge area very extensively. There was not a lot of variety in waterfowl in this area. Found were Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, and in Lake Law Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck. A Pied-billed Grebe was also on Lake Law. There was still a good number of Killdeer on the A.E. Sea flats. Also found were a Dunlin, a Wilson's Snipe (flushed from north end of A.E. Sea), and, the bird of the day, a Red-necked Phalarope. Swamp Sparrows again topped the list of sparrows in the area. Other sparrows found were Field Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow (south end of A.E. Sea), Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Additional birds found here and other eastern Lab locations were Cooper's Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs, Eastern Phoebe, both Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler and Magnolia Warbler. Peter also mentioned he again had the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on Friday, good for another survey week. Dave

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marcia and Gail had some interesting birds this morning starting with a pair of Ring-necked Pheasants in the Main Ring Prairie. This is the first time in a while both a male and female have been seen in the same area. Other birds they found in the Main Ring and Main Injector areas were Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Hermit Thrush, Palm Warbler , Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Their bird of the day was an early Pine Siskin, again in the Main Ring Prairie. It was also a first for the year. Dave

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It was mostly clear all morning with cool but warming temps. Winds also increased throughout the morning. The Dusaf and Nepese areas were not too productive. Worth mentioning were several Green-wing Teal, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Greater Yellowlegs, and several Swamp Sparrows. There was much more activity in the Garden Club with about half the birds being House Finches, House Sparrows and American Goldfinches. Next were a large number of Eastern Bluebirds (25-30). One even landed on the top of my head (hat) at one point. Interestingly, most of the bluebirds moved on after about 15-20 minutes. The remaining birds consisted of an Eastern Phoebe, an American Crow, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping Sparrows, Clay-colored Sparrows (at least two), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (at least two), and Swamp Sparrows. The remainder of the morning was spent monitoring several defined woodlots on the west side of the Lab. Again there was a good amount of activity in most of these locations. The highlight birds in these locations were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe, Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Finally, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was again seen by Swan Lake, this time in the downed trees on the west shore. Dave

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It was chilly to start with the moderate breeze making it feel like glove weather - I forgot mine. It warmed nicely and, if you were out of the wind, it was quite pleasant. The chilly wind appeared to keep the birds tight to their overnight roosts during the early morning. The A.E. Sea area was mostly about waterfowl including Gadwall, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser and Ruddy Duck (Lake Law). Also in this area were Pied-billed Grebe, Cooper's Hawk, Swamp Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird. In the area of the Sparrow Hedge we added Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Brown Thrasher, Orange-crowned Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow. In the Main Ring Woods area we added Great Horned Owl (pair), Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow (3) and Indigo Bunting. Other birds found throughout the Lab were Northern Harrier, Bonaparte's Gull (later on Lake Law), Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, American Crow, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. In addition to some of the above listed birds, Denis' class spotted some of the best birds of the day including several Broad-winged Hawks and both a Snow Goose and Ross's Goose. All these were seen flying over several locations of the Lab. Later in the day a Clay-colored Sparrow was reported, in of all places, a stop sign at Eola and Batavia roads. Dave

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It was cloudy and pleasant this morning, with the only issue being the voracious mosquitoes in certain areas. A walk along the west shore of A.E. Sea produced Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Sora (several), Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat (several in a group), Swamp Sparrow (many along the route) and a Cooper's Hawk flying low over the marsh foliage. The Sparrow Hedge itself was quite active with many of the expected common species including lots of American Goldfinches. In addition, some highlights were Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Song Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow (several). Dusaf had several shorebirds including Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper. There was also a flyby Black-crowned Night-Heron. Aside from the numerous resident House Sparrows and House Finches, the only birds found in the Garden Club were Eastern Bluebirds and Chipping Sparrows. A flock of several Eastern Meadowlarks was flushed entering the Main Ring Prairie. The Main Ring woodlots were fairly quiet but I did hear a number of Eastern Towhees in addition to seeing more Yellow-rumped Warblers and Swamp Sparrows, a Tennessee Warbler and a Great Horned Owl. Peter had the Peregrine Falcon around Wilson Hall. Finally, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was still in the Swan Lake area (where it has been for almost a month), this time on the north shore. Dave

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Here's a review of some of the birds found during September, in my absence, excluding the impressive list posted by Peter on the 15th. Marcia and Gail reported several warblers including Tennessee Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. The last Osprey sighting they had was Sept. 11. They have also had a Ring-necked Pheasant (Fem), Belted Kingfisher and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Denis had a nice list from his Sunday class (Sept. 28). Some of the highlights were Ruddy Duck, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Sora (lots), Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Tennessee Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Eastern Meadowlark. A Peregrine Falcon has been reported in the Wilson Hall area. Peter added a Tufted Titmouse on the east edge of the Big Woods on the 21st. Dave

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