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October, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The morning was cool, breezy and mostly cloudy. It did warm up throughout the morning. Except for a Double-crested Cormorant, Lake Law was quite barren, although a Pied-billed Grebe did show up on our return. As typical of late, A.E. Sea showed much more activity than Lake Law. Waterfowl of note were Cackling Geese, Gadwall, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks and Ruddy Ducks. The overnight rains raised the level of the Sea, but there was still a flat on the north end which produced some Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs (2), and some Dunlin. Sparrows were at a premium. As a matter of fact, passerines in general were quite sparse today. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were American Coot, a Belted Kingfisher (another was found later by the Main Ring - it's been a rarity to have two on the same day for quite awhile now), White-throated Sparrows and a Rusty Blackbird. Birds of note in other areas of the Lab were a Wood Duck, a Great Egret, a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (2), and White-crowned Sparrows. Overall not a very birdy morning. Dave

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sounds like Glenn was pretty busy during his midday trip to the Lab today. Most of his interesting waterfowl were found on A.E. Sea and included Gadwall (2), American Wigeon (1), Blue-winged Teal (3), Northern Shoveler (89), Green-winged Teal (68), Canvasback (2), Redhead (6), Ring-necked Duck (1 at Lake Law) and Ruddy Duck (3). Shorebirds found at A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (7), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), Dunlin (4) and a Wilson's Snipe. Other highlights he had around the Lab were an immature Northern Harrier, American Kestrels (3), American Crows (17 - probably a modern day record for the Lab, at least over recent years), Horned Larks (6), an Eastern Bluebird, American Pipits (7), a Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (2), Swamp Sparrows (5), White-throated Sparrows (3), White-crowned Sparrows (4) and Dark-eyed Juncos (22). Searching various Ag fields he found almost 2,000 Canada Geese. Out of a flock of even more blackbirds (estimated at almost 4,000 birds), he was able to find Red-winged Blackbirds (over 800), Rusty Blackbirds (3), Common Grackles (almost 2,000), Brown-headed Cowbirds (48) and a Brewer's Blackbird. Of the remaining unidentified blackbirds there was probably a similar mix as listed above. Dave

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in this morning but, due to the rain, were unable to perform their usual monitoring route. They did, however, come up with some interesting birds in other locations. They bettered my Great Egret of yesterday by finding two this morning. They located a large flock of blackbirds (about 400) in the North Roads area including mostly Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings (11), Rusty Blackbirds (6), Common Grackles (4) and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Other birds of interest for the morning were Wood Ducks (3), Great Blue Herons (2), an American Kestrel and an American Crow. Also on Wednesday, Peter observed 9 very late Turkey Vultures circling over Wilson Hall. Dave

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The morning was overcast with brief looks at the sun, cool temps and a moderate breeze. Only a pair of Gadwall and a single Double-crested Cormorant were found on Lake Law. Things were much better at A.E. Sea where waterfowl included American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds found around the sea were American Coots, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (4), Dunlin (3), Wilson's Snipe (2-3), and several American Pipits. Sparrow numbers were down considerably today with White-crowned Sparrows now the most abundant species followed by Swamp Sparrows, Fox Sparrows (quite a few were found), Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and a lone Lincoln's Sparrow. Other birds found around the Lab were Cackling Geese, Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, a very late Great Egret, a Hairy Woodpecker, an Eastern Phoebe (also a quite late bird), American Crows, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebirds, a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks and several Rusty Blackbirds (6). My bird of the day was a very inquisitive Winter Wren (possibly 2). Dave

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It was a beautiful fall morning with about average temps, sunny skies and mild winds. All of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. Waterfowl found between Lake Law and A.E. Sea were Gadwall, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks. Shorebirds found at A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (4-5), and Dunlin (3). Sparrow populations are changing with White-throated Sparrows being a close second in number to the Swamp Sparrows (which have been the overwhelming leader to this point). Fox Sparrows numbers are also on the rise. Also seen were some Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of interest in the area were a Belted Kingfisher (working the A.E. Sea shoreline), a singing Eastern Phoebe, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and American Pipits (3 on the flats of A.E. Sea). Dave

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The morning started out mostly sunny, cool and calm, but warmed and clouded up as the morning progressed. The brightness of the morning drove off most of the waterfowl from A.E. Sea much sooner than on Sunday. All that was left when I got there were Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Also there were several Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Found on Lake Law were an American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorants (4-5), Ruddy Ducks (30 plus) and several American Coots. Sparrow numbers were down a little from the last few visits. Found were Field Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow (my first of the season), Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Golden-crowned Kinglets (about 3 to 1 vs Ruby-crowned), Cedar Waxwings (10 plus), an Orange-crowned Warbler and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Found elsewhere in the Lab were Greater White-fronted Geese (2 small flying flocks), an American Kestrel, and Eastern Phoebes (2). Dave

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It was quite warm for a mid-October morning; mostly cloudy and calm with occasional mist. Waterfowl are showing up in increased numbers and variety. Most of these were found on A.E. Sea including Greater White-fronted Geese (30 or more), Cackling Geese, Canada Geese, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Ducks. Shorebirds were represented by Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitchers. Sparrows are still being found in good numbers with some diversity, but no eye-openers were found this morning. What we did have were Chipping Sparrows, one Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (again the most numerous species), White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. All these were found on the east side of the Lab. The bird of the day was a single American White Pelican at A.E. Sea. Other birds found were a Double-crested Cormorant, an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Cooper's Hawk, Sandhill Cranes (again 3 together), a singing Eastern Phoebe, a Tree Swallow, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Marcia and Gail were out in the rain this morning. Even though their time was limited, they did find some birds. The highlights were a Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks (6), Eastern Phoebes (2), a Swainson's Thrush and Cedar Waxwings (20). Glenn was also in this morning. He spent all his time in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. The highlights of his morning were a Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorants, a Cooper's Hawk, a Sora, Chimney Swifts (10), a House Wren, a Marsh Wren, Orange-crowned Warblers (2), a Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (32), a LeConte's Sparrow, a Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (11), White-crowned Sparrows ( 5), a Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrow (2), Swamp Sparrows (26) and an Eastern Towhee. His bird of the day was an immature Bell's Vireo. Dave

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Glenn was in this evening and found some interesting birds including over 2630 Canada Geese (found throughout the Lab, while the spectacle of watching all these birds coming in to spend the night was a bonus). Other water birds found in the Lakes Region were a Snow Goose, a Ring-necked Duck, a Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Wilson's Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs and an American Pipit. Over forty American Coots were then found at Main Ring Lake. Finally, he had three Great Horned Owls and a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Despite some early fog it was a very nice morning for birding being mostly sunny, cool with moderate winds. Bird highlights found in and associated with the lakes were a couple of Snow Geese (1-White, 1-Blue), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal (large number at south end of A.E. Sea), Ruddy Ducks (3-L.Law), a Pied-billed Grebe, Greater Yellowlegs (3-4) and a couple of Long-billed Dowitchers. There was still a vestige of variety in the warblers found this morning including a Tennessee Warbler, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (by far the most numerous species), a Black-throated Green Warbler (tied with our latest sighting), Palm Warblers and Common Yellowthroats (still quite a few around). The sparrows were numerous with Swamp Sparrows being at least 75 percent of the them. Other sparrows found were a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (at least 3), White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Some of the other birds in the area were Double-crested Cormorants (several flying), Sandhill Cranes (3 flying low over A.E. Sea), Chimney Swifts (several buzzing the area), Eastern Phoebes, Marsh Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (quite a few), Cedar Waxwings (15-20), an Eastern Towhee (calling) and a Rusty Blackbird (at A.E. Sea's shore). Dave

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Glenn was in the Lab briefly this morning and though he had no shorebirds he did come up with several nice finds in the Lakes Region. On Lake Law there was a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks (9) and a large group of American Coots (some also on A.E. Sea, totaling 46). At A.E. Sea he had large numbers of Green-winged Teal, Chimney Swifts (over 115) and an American Pipit. He also noted the increasing numbers of Swamp Sparrows. Dave

Monday, October 3, 2016

Glenn made an evening visit to the Lab payoff with a pair of Barred Owls and a Great Horned Owl. His real quarry were Flying Squirrels.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The morning started out overcast, calm and cool. The wind did increase some, but the sun only showed itself briefly. A single Ruddy Duck was on Lake Law. Most of our time was again spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A.E. Sea produced lots of Canada Geese (even after 100's flew off before we got down there), both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal, a Northern Shoveler, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (3) and Lesser Yellowlegs (2). A pair of Sandhill Cranes were seen flying low over A.E. Sea as was the only Great Egret of the morning. The fall migration has shifted to the yellow-rumped/early sparrow phase. Sparrows in the area this morning were a Le Conte's Sparrow (Juvenile), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (3-4), Swamp Sparrows (by far the most abundant species) and White-crowned Sparrows. Some of the other birds in the area were Wood Ducks, Chimney Swifts (about a dozen), Marsh Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwings (about 25), Yellow-rumped Warblers (quite a few), Palm Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers (2), an American Redstart and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Not too much going on in the Garden Club. We did find and a Cooper's Hawk (chasing a Mourning Dove), an Eastern Phoebe and several Chipping Sparrows. Denis' group duplicated most of what we had today. In addition, they added a Sharp-shinned Hawk (that's 3 in one week), Short-billed Dowitchers (3 at A.E. Sea), a House Wren, a Golden-crowned Kinglet and an Eastern Bluebird. Plus they found three species of swallows including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Barn Swallows. Dave

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Glenn made two trips to the Lab, yesterday and today, both times on the east side. On Friday afternoon, Sept. 30th, his highlights were a whopping 92 plus Green-winged Teal, a Sora, 2 Wilson's Snipe and 4 Rusty Blackbirds. This morning, before being rained out, he added some nice birds starting with a couple of Nelson's Sparrows, which were also the first of this species for the year. Other highlights he had were a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, Marsh Wrens (4 scolding individuals), Swamp Sparrows (8) and several flyover Common Grackles (which were needed for the Fermi List this week). Dave

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