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October, 2017 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Conditions were quite good this morning being cool with mild winds and partly cloudy skies, later turning sunny. Lake Law held a good number of waterfowl including Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Mallards (most to date this season), Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal (quite a few), Lesser Scaup (15 plus)and a Ruddy Duck. Found in the Sea of Evanescence were Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. Sparrows were quite active along the Sparrow Hedge paths. Those found were American Tree Sparrows (increasing in numbers), a Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrows (most to date), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (most abundant again today), White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Sparrows found elsewhere were Field Sparrows (2) and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of interest in the area were Pied-billed Grebes, Sandhill Cranes, American Coots (3), a Belted Kingfisher, a Winter Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Blues, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, an Eastern Towhee and a Common Grackle. Dave

Friday, October 27, 2017

The morning started out cold, windy and cloudy; it did not improve from there. The wind was a major factor, especially areas exposed to the north or west. The occasional snowflakes had no effect, except to remind of what was to come. Early thousands of Canada Geese were on Lake Law and A.E. Sea, but soon migrated to the Ag Fields on the north side of the Lab. Other waterfowl found were Cackling Geese, a Snow Goose (Ag Fields, probably the same bird Glenn had on Wed.), Mallards, Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks (Lake Logo) and Hooded Mergansers. Sparrows found, mostly in small numbers, in the Sparrow Hedge area were American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Those found elsewhere were a Lincoln's Sparrow, Fox Sparrows (2) and Dark-eyed Juncos. About 8:15, several hundred Canada Geese flushed from the Ag Fields and returned to the Lakes. Soon after an Adult Bald Eagle showed up from the same direction and circled A.E. Sea, most likely the cause of the concern for the spooked geese. Other highlights in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes (2), Sandhill Cranes (3-possibly the family that bred in the Lab this past season), a Wilson's Snipe, a Belted Kingfisher, a Merlin (bird of the day, an especially good year for this species), American Crows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Palm Warbler. Interesting birds found elsewhere in the Lab were a Cooper's Hawk (migrating thru), Killdeer (lots in Ag Fields), an American Kestrel, Horned Larks (lots in Ag Fields), a Nashville Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Today Glenn made a short stop in the North Roads area of the Lab and among the over 2000 Canada Geese he located 18 Horned Larks and a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks. On Monday, another trip to the Lab produced a Snow Goose in the North Eola Road Ag fields. In addition, Lake Law provided a couple of Mute Swans that eventually flew off to the west. Other highlights of his trip were Wood Ducks (3), a Northern Harrier, an American Crow and Horned Larks (3). Dave

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The morning started quite pleasant with temps in the mid 60's, mild winds and mostly cloudy skies; however, intermittent showers started midmorning then progressed to consistent rain later. In the Lakes region, waterfowl were not much better than Wednesday, but Canada Geese numbers were up another notch. Others found were Cackling Geese, Wood Ducks, American Black Ducks (at different location), Mallards, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Sparrows showed some improvement with a couple of Le Conte's Sparrows (one of the birds of the day), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Added elsewhere were a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows and a couple of Fox Sparrows. The other bird of the day was an American Bittern that flushed less than 3 feet from me in some tall grass adjacent to Lake Law. Other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Pied-billed Grebes (3-4), Sandhill Cranes (5), a Greater Yellowlegs, a Belted Kingfisher (SW corner of A.E. Sea), a Golden-crowned Kinglet and a Palm Warbler. Some of the birds found elsewhere in the Lab were several Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebes, American Crows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Towhees and an Indigo Bunting. On his way home Peter visited the center of the Main Ring and found an American Coot, a Northern Harrier and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The morning started cool, sunny, with a mild wind. It again warmed through the morning, while the winds increased only slightly. Lake Law is now almost back to its pre drawdown level. As a consequence there were no shorebirds found in the Lakes area. There was an influx of the largest group of Canada Geese of the season accompanied by several Cackling Geese. Ducks were at their lowest numbers over the last several weeks; found were Mallards, Northern Shovelers (less than 20), Hooded Mergansers (pr) and Ruddy Ducks (8). Birding other areas of the Lab did not improve this list. One shrub contained Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and a Lincoln's Sparrow. Also found in the area were a Field Sparrow and a couple of White-crowned Sparrows. The bird of the morning was a Merlin in a dead tree at the south end of A.E. Sea. Other birds of interest in the area were Belted Kingfisher, an Eastern Phoebe (others found elsewhere), Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Bluebirds (migrating over the area) and Cedar Waxwings. Birds found in other areas were a Cooper's Hawk (probably a resident in the Garden Club), Killdeer, Long-billed Dowitchers (2-in a fuddle along South Eola Rd.), a House Wren, Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Eastern Towhee. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning spending most of their time in the Main and Injector Ring Areas. They also had Yellow-rumped Warblers in addition to a late Nashville Warbler. Most of their sparrows were White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows, but they also found the first American Tree Sparrows of the season. Dave

Monday, October 16, 2017

Glenn made a short stop in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region this evening. Highlights of this trip were Wood Ducks an American Wigeon, Mallards and Ruddy Ducks (11 at Lake Law), Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Despite the cool temps and the extremely strong NW winds, we had a phenomenal morning of birding. In addition, the heavy rains of Saturday greatly raised the levels of the lakes around the Lab. This wiped out most of the shorebird habitat at Lake Law and all of the habitat at A.E. Sea. As a consequence, shorebirds were at a premium with only a couple each of Killdeer and Greater Yellowlegs. We also added a couple of Wilson's Snipe, but these were flushed in thick marshy areas. Waterfowl were somewhat sparse compared with our last several visits. Those found were Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Mallards, Gadwall, Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers (much small numbers than earlier in the week), Green-winged Teal, a Hooded Merganser and a Ruddy Duck. It was a day for eagles with 3 Bald Eagles (2-Adults and 1-Sub Adult) and a Golden Eagle migrating thru. Because of the strong winds, the sparrows were mostly heard and not seen. Those found were Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows (most numerous species, again), White-throated Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Turkey Vultures (2-3), Sandhill Cranes (5-west side of L.Law), a Merlin (migrating high), several Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Palm Warbler. Found in the A.E. Sea Slots along Batavia Rd. were several Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night-Herons (3) and an American Bittern. Interestingly, the skies were filled with Great Egrets most of the morning, seemingly not able to find suitable foraging areas due to the high waters. The bird of the day was also a first for the Lab (new for the Fermi Birdlist) a Laughing Gull. It was in the center of Lake Law early on, but not to be found upon our exit of the area. Lastly, Glenn had a first of the year Harris's Sparrow yesterday (Saturday) east of the Lake Law Berm. Other sparrows he found during the short break in the rain were a Clay-colored Sparrow, a Field Sparrow, a Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrows (3), Lincoln's Sparrows (3), Swamp Sparrows (9), White-throated Sparrows (10), White-crowned Sparrows and, unfortunately, the first 2 Dark-eyed Juncos of the year. Dave

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Not a pleasant morning for birding but there were birds to be found. The main birding deterrent were the fairly strong NE winds. The accompanying on and off showers had little effect. American Crows have been quite prevalent over the last month or so. This morning one was seen harassing a Cooper's Hawk as the hawk was trying to catch a shorebird breakfast at Lake Law. Shorebirds that remained were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (3), a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers and Long-billed Sandpipers (2). The only new waterfowl for the season found in the Lakes Region were several Gadwall. Other waterfowl found today were American Wigeons, American Black Ducks, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal. Sparrow numbers were down in the Sparrow Hedge Region, but some other areas of the Lab had larger concentrations. Found today were a Clay-colored Sparrow (in Garden Club), a Field Sparrow (also in Garden Club), Song Sparrows, a Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flickers, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (a flock of about 20 birds), Eastern Bluebirds and Palm Warblers. Warblers found elsewhere were a Nashville Warbler and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Roads and Grounds personal had a very interesting sighting this morning of an adult Bald Eagle rearranging nest material at Osprey Nest 2. The eagle was also seen trying to select sticks from a brush pile before being disturbed. They also reported several Sandhill Cranes in the Buffalo Wallow along Road D. The bird of the day was a very boisterous Red-shouldered Hawk heard then seen at the far southeast corner of the Sparrow Hedge area. Dave

Monday, October 9, 2017

Al Stokie was in the Lab today and was able to get both a Le Conte's Sparrow and a Nelson's Sparrow. In addition, he had a flyover Snow Goose(white) and five Long-billed Dowitchers. Dave

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A cloudless sky greeted us this morning. While a little cool to start, it quickly warmed into the mid 70's. The whole morning was spent in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region. The first bird of the morning was an immature Bald Eagle, flying south over Lake Law. Shorebirds at Lake Law were not too impressive, found there were Killdeer (still in good numbers), a Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Waterfowl still continue to trickle in. Interestingly, some of the first sightings of these season birds are 2 to 3 weeks behind schedule. I would guess September's abnormally high temps kept the birds up north longer. Found in the Lakes Region were Wood Ducks, American Wigeons, American Black Ducks, Mallards (of course), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, a Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Mergansers and a Ruddy Duck. Sparrow diversity was down a little. Those found were Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (well over half the sparrows found), White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the area were an American Coot, a Herring Gull, Great Egrets (over 90 at A.E. Sea), Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (2), a Hairy Woodpecker, American Crows, Marsh Wrens (quite active in some areas), Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush, a very late Yellow Warbler (latest ever at the Lab) and a Palm Warbler. Dave

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Al Stokie was in again this morning and had the first White-fronted Geese (6) of the season fly in and land right in front of him at Lake Law. The only shorebirds found were Killdeer and Pectoral Sandpipers (26). Other birds of interest were Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (2), Sandhill Cranes, Eastern Phoebes (2), Barn Swallows (2), American Pipits (2) and Swamp Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I have only partial reports from the Sunday birding by Peter and Denis. It appears sparrows are now migrating thru the Lab with good variety. Of the 8 species found, Le Conte's Sparrows and Nelson's Sparrows were the highlights. Others reported were Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds mentioned were a Ruby-crowned Hummingbird, a Sandhill Crane, a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Tennessee Warbler and a Magnolia Warbler. Dave

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