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September, 2017 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Al Stokie was in on Tuesday and came up with several very good birds in the Lake Law area. The best of these were an American Golden Plover and a Merlin chasing some shorebirds. Other birds of interest were a Semipalmated Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpipers (2 together), still a good number of Pectoral Sandpipers (22), a Juv Stilt Sandpiper, an Eastern Phoebe, American Crows and an American Pipit. Dave

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The morning was mostly cloudy and in the 60's with moderate winds. At Lake Law, the number of Pectoral Sandpipers was almost equal to the number of Killdeer (although Killdeer numbers were down from that of the past few weeks). The only other shorebirds of interest were a Greater Yellowlegs and a Stilt Sandpiper. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region were Pied-billed Grebes (4), American Coots (2), a Green Heron, a Bald Eagle, a Cooper's Hawk, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, an Eastern Phoebe, a Warbling Vireo, American Crows (2-3), Marsh Wrens, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (a season first), a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings (again mostly Juv's), an American Redstart (only warbler, except for yellowthroats), Eastern Towhees, Lincoln's Sparrows (3), White-throated Sparrows and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The Great Egrets were again in DUSAF Pond (60 plus). Found elsewhere in the Lab were an American Kestrel, Hairy Woodpeckers, a Blue-headed Vireo (1st of the year, eating a large grub), Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler and a Fox Sparrow. Dave

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Again the morning started comfortably in the 70's but reached into the upper 80's by our departure. The mild winds had no effect on the birds nor provided any cooling for us. Lake Law continues to produce a nice collection of shorebirds. Found today were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, a White-rumped Sandpiper, a Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Stilt Sandpiper. A nice collection of interesting birds were found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region including Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (4-A.E Sea), Sandhill Cranes (1-2 heard near A.E.Sea), Great Egrets (60 plus in A.E. Sea), a Great Horned Owl, a Philadelphia Vireo, Marsh Wrens, a Swainson's Thrush, a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings, Magnolia Warblers, a Palm Warbler, American Redstarts, Common Yellowthroats, White-throated Sparrows and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Main Ring Woods produced a Warbling Vireo, Eastern Bluebirds, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warblers (2), a Bay-breasted Warbler and two new sparrow migrants, a Lincoln's Sparrow and a White-crowned Warbler. Denis' group stayed in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region finding many of the same birds as Peter and myself. In addition, they found Black-crowned Night-Herons (3) and some migrant hawks. Included were a couple of Bald Eagles (an adult and a juvenile, probably not migrants), a high flying Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawks (3) and the bird of the day, a Merlin which put on an aerial display first disrupting the Lake Law shorebirds then swooping down an a passerine. Dave

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Al Stokie was in the Lab this morning, specifically at Lake Law. He added a Semipalmated Plover for the week and had most of the same shorebirds we had on Sunday including Killdeer (28), a Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs (6), a Solitary Sandpiper, a Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpipers (3-4), a Baird's Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpipers (2), Pectoral Sandpipers (13) and a Wilson's Sandpiper. Peter was also birding with a visiting scientist and found many of the same shorebirds. In addition, he noted shorebirds are now starting to show up on the lowered A.E. Sea. They also found the best variety of warblers in the Sparrow Hedge area of the season including Tennessee Warblers, an Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warblers, a Magnolia Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats. In addition, they found the first confirmed migrating blackbird of the season, a Rusty Blackbird. Dave

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The morning started comfortably in the mid 60's and sunny, but the temps rose to the mid 80's by noon. The A.E. Slits were barren except for a couple of Green Herons and some Marsh Wrens. There was not a lot of variety on the Lake law flats. Found there were Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers and a couple of Wilson's Snipe. I heard, then watched a Belted Kingfisher fishing from a dead tree at the SW corner of A.E. Sea. Lighting was great. Four or five warblers flew by, but the only one that stopped was a Black-throated Green Warbler. Other birds of note in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (at least 3), an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings (mostly juveniles) and Indigo Buntings. It appears that the new hot spot for Great Egrets is DUSAF Pond with over 40 being found there. A large flock of House Sparrows was chased by a Cooper's Hawk in the Garden Club. Unfortunately, he missed his breakfast. Migrants found in the Big Woods or Main Ring Woods were a Yellow-throated Vireo, a Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warblers (5-6), a Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstarts (2) and probably the first sparrow migrants of the season, couple of White-throated Sparrows. Marcia and Gail were also in doing their weekly survey. Their highlights included Wood Ducks, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings (11), a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Common Grackle. The girls also came up with the bird of the day, a Northern Harrier (first sighting since May) searching a prairie in the Main Injector area. Dave

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The morning started comfortably cool with partly sunny skies but soon warmed into the 70's. The A.E. Sea Slots were barren except for a single Great Blue Heron. A.E. sea's receding waters have removed any standing water in that area. The Lake Law Flats did produce some interesting shorebirds including Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Least Sandpiper, a White-rumped Sandpiper (bird of the day and first of the year), a Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipers (2). Great Egrets were noticeable in that their numbers were the lowest in many weeks (only 4-5 today). Other interesting birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks (15-20), Green-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebes (3 Juv), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Great Horned Owl, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, American Crows (several here and other areas of the Lab), a Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, a Swamp Sparrow and a couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. We found 7 warbler species. The only one with multiple numbers were the Common Yellowthroats. Others found were a Palm Warbler (Sparrow Hedge), a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Black-throated Green Warbler, an American Redstart and an Ovenbird - all in Main Ring Woods. Peter also reported a Common Nighthawk during the week. Dave

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Marcia's and Gail's first stop this morning was again at the Cattail Slots at the south end of A.E. Sea. There they found 9 Soras, Green Herons (3) and Pied-billed Grebes (3). An Osprey was again found in the Betz Prairie area in the same tree as last week. They found the first Palm Warblers (2) of the season, unfortunately, we have not had many other warblers to precede them. What will our next warbler be, a Yellow-rumped Warbler? Other birds of interest they spotted during their morning survey were a pair of Wood Ducks, a Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flickers (4), Eastern Phoebes (3), Sedge Wrens (3), a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It was a very nice early fall morning for birding. Temps started in the high 40's and was approaching the 60's by the time we were finished, with mostly sunny skies and a mild breeze. The area around the A.E. Sea "slots" produced Pied-billed Grebes (3-Juv), Soras (around 10), Green Herons and Marsh Wrens. Again Lake Law produced a modest population of shorebirds including Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpipers. Also, Peter spotted an American Pipit on the far west side of the lake. Some early waterfowl movement was evident with Wood Ducks, both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers on the Sea of evanescence. A nice variety of other birds were found in Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region including Pied-billed Grebes (3-Adults), Chimney Swifts, an American Coot, Great Egrets (42-Sea of Evanescence) Black-crowned Night-Herons (2-Juv south end A.E. Sea), a Cooper's Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, a Willow Flycatcher, an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds, a Swainson's Thrush and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The only other bird of mention outside these areas was a Brown Thrasher. No migrant warblers were found during the morning. Dave

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Altering their usual monitoring protocol this morning, Marcia and Gail started out at the Cattail Slots in A.E. Sea along Batavia Rd. They did get some views of a single Least Bittern in addition to several Soras (5) and Green Herons (3). After checking out several other locations, they returned to their usual monitoring of the Main and Injector Ring areas. Birds of interest found in these other areas were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Downy Woodpecker (needed for the week), an American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebes (3), a Horned Lark, Field Sparrows (2-not as noticeable in expected locations), a Savannah Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Indigo Bunting. Also, they reported not finding an Osprey during their travels around the Lab this morning. Dave

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The morning started cool (low 50's) and mostly sunny but warmed quickly into the 70's. I missed finding any Least Bitterns in the A.E. Sea slot cuts but, good numbers Soras and Green Herons were still in the area. Shorebirds around Lake Law were still in smaller numbers than last week. Shorebirds found there were a Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer (still quite a few), Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Pectoral Sandpipers. These birds were moving around quite a bit and many were out of the range of my scope most of the time. The majority of Great Egrets appear to have moved back to the Sea of Evanescence (numbers early in the morning - Lake Law- 3, Sea of E.-at least 27). Also at the Sea of E., I watched a Great Blue Heron carry around a good sized Bullhead (about 10") for about 5 min. The fish was repositioned regularly while the heron appeared to look for a solid surface to dispatch it. Suddenly, the fish wiggled free and fell into a weedy area where the heron could not locate it but still spent several minutes picking at the weeds ,in an unsuccessful in search. Other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, a Cooper's Hawk, Bell's Vireos (2), Cedar Waxwings, a Tennessee Warbler, a Nashville Warbler and a Bay-breasted Warbler. Birds found in other areas of the Lab were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a Swainson's Thrush, an American Redstart, a Mourning Warbler (bird of the day), a Field Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird chased a House Wren into a thick, dead shrub where it continued to harass it until the wren found a secure location. The hummingbird perched nearby and when the wren flushed the hummingbird was again hot on its tail. Dave

Friday, September 1, 2017

The 50 degree temperatures this morning were accentuated by the breezy conditions. The test slots along Batavia Rd at A.E. Sea produced most of the same birds found there in the recent past including Pied-billed Grebes (2-Juv), Soras (at least 10), Least Bitterns (2) and Green Herons. By the way, these test slots are an experiment to try and reduce the cattail density around A.E. Sea. The shorebirds at drawn-down Lake Law were a little disappointing this morning both in quality and quantity. Killdeer were most numerous with 50-75 spread around the lake. Others found were several Spotted Sandpipers, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Sandpiper and a Least Sandpiper. Another small flock was spotted but left the area before the birds could be identified. There was a good number of swallows over the Sea of Evanescence including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Barn Swallows and several Chimney Swifts. Other birds of interest in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Wood Ducks, Double-crested Cormorants (about 100 in the SW corner of A.E. Sea), a Bell's Vireo, a Sedge Wren, Marsh Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings. An interesting incident occurred in the Osprey Nest 1 area. An adult Osprey was on the power pole next to the nest pole when a Red-tailed Hawk landed one pole down from the Osprey. The Osprey took off and buzzed the Red-Tail until it flushed. The Osprey then chased it out of the area. Later the Osprey, now perched on the Nest 1 pole, got quite irritated when a Turkey Vulture glided over the nest pole. The positive from these incidents is that there still appears to be loyalty to the area by this Osprey. Some of the other highlight birds found elsewhere in the Lab were Turkey Vultures, Hairy Woodpeckers, American Kestrels (5), a Least Flycatcher, a Great Crested Flycatcher and Indigo Buntings. Finally, the bird of the morning was an early Merlin perched out in the open, flushing then flying south. Dave

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