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September, 2013 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This morning, Fermi was clear and refreshingly cool while the grounds were a little damp from the overnight rain. We spent most of the morning in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region where there was quite a bit of activity. Shorebird numbers dropped slightly from Friday. We found Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper. Waterfowl included Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Palm Warblers were everywhere as were Yellow-rumped Warblers but to a lesser degree. Several Nashville Warblers were also found. Sparrows continue to increase in numbers. Included were Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. Several other birds of note were Sora, Philadelphia Vireo, Marsh Wren (quite a few singing), Tree Swallow, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Meadowlark (edge of Dog Fields). Denis' group added American Crow, Barn Swallow, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Rusty Blackbird and the first Nelson's Sparrow of the year. Finally, Peter mentioned that he had an American Woodcock on Thursday evening leaving work. Dave

Friday, September 27, 2013

Clear skies and mild winds made for great birding conditions this morning. A fair amount of shorebirds remain and this morning most were at A.E. Sea. I found Killdeer (lots), Greater Yellowlegs (only one), Lesser Yellowlegs (lots), Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper (one). A walk around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes area produced some interesting sightings. Warblers are well past their peak with only a single Nashville Warbler, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, many Palm Warblers and several Common Yellowthroats. On the other hand the sparrow migration is ramping up. The walk along the Lake Law berm produced 15-20 Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows. Other sparrows found were Lincoln's Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (a good number), and White-crowned Sparrow (in a different location). An immature Bald Eagle was patrolling the south end of A.E. Sea during my walk down. When I got to the south end of A.E. Sea there was an American Kestrel perched atop the tallest dead tree along with some Blue Jays and Northern Flickers. Soon a Sharp-shinned Hawk dove at the kestrel and took its spot on the tree. The kestrel circled around and took back its original position on the tree. This cycle repeated for 10-15 minutes with occasional dives at a Blue Jay or Northern Flicker thrown in. Eventually, each raptor went their separate way. Other birds found in the area were Blue-winged Teal, Chimney Swift, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Found in other locations were Sora, Marsh Wren, and Swainson's Thrush. Also, Denis had an immature Peregrine Falcon circling Wilson Hall yesterday. Dave

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I have been gone for several weeks but I'll try to give a brief review of what has been seen while I've been gone (at least what sightings have been given to me). First, in a nutshell, shorebirds continued to be a major highlight until just recently. The warbler migration, however, was poor around the Lab. Most of the typical shorebirds (see previous listings) were being seen during the first half of the month with diminishing numbers. Highlight shorebirds found were Black-bellied Plover, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I didn't receive too many reports of warbler sightings. What was reported were Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, American Redstart, Mourning Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler and more recently the Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers have dominated. Marcia and Gail found a Snow Goose on Main Ring Lake (Sept. 14) which was the earliest fall sighting we've ever had. Some of the other highlight birds were a Northern Pintail, a Peregrine Falcon, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (still being seen), Swainson's Thrush (fair number reported), an American Pipit, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and a late Dickcissel. In addition to Marcia and Gail, I'd like to thank Al Stokie, Denis and Peter for their input. Dave

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Early morning fog made effective birding almost impossible. After a stop for donuts, conditions started to improve. Nonetheless, it took some time for the fog to completely clear out. It's still shorebirds that were the morning's focus. Yesterday's rains again raised the levels of A.E. Sea and DUSAF and allowed the shorebirds more foraging area. We found Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Wilson's Snipe. Other birds around the Lakes were Wood Duck, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Cooper's Hawk, Sora (very good numbers), Herring Gull, Marsh Wren and Savannah Sparrow. Passerine migrants were quite limited with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the greatest number. Other migrants found were Philadelphia Vireo(1), Red-eyed Vireo (2), Tennessee Warbler (3), and Swainson's Thrush (1) all in the Garden Club and Big Woods area. Willow Flycatcher and Cedar Waxwing were also found on the west side of the Big Woods. Denis and some other birders also added Peregrine Falcon (1-adult and 1-Juv) and Caspian Tern after I went to the Big Woods. Dave

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