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September, 2016 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The morning was mostly cloudy, cool and breezy, with occasional rain showers. Lake Law had a Pied-billed Grebe and a half dozen Ruddy Ducks. Birds found at A.E. Sea included Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers (3) and a Swamp Sparrow. The Sea of Evanescence produced 2 immature Black-crowned Night-Herons and 2 American Coots. Other birds in the Sparrow Hedge Region were a Magnolia Warbler, a White-throated Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Sandhill Cranes were heard in the distance. Hundreds of Canada Geese and at least one Cackling Goose arose from the corn field north of the Garden Club and headed south. The good news was the Garden Club had quite a bit of bird activity. The bad news was that almost half of those birds were House Sparrows (more than I have ever seen in the area). Other birds included Palm Warblers, Chipping Sparrows (lots), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows. Birds found in other areas of the Lab were Wood Ducks, a Great Horned Owl, Northern Flickers (noticeably increased in numbers over the last week), Least Flycatchers (2), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (about a half dozen), Cedar Waxwings (15-20), Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler and an American Redstart. My bird of the day was a migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk that flushed on my walk back from the Sparrow Hedge. It was immediately chased by several Blue Jays which were most likely waiting for it to move. With a clever maneuver, the hawk turned the tables on the jays and chased the jays off. It returned to a resting position in another tree. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning having some of the same bird species plus adding some others. Their findings in the Main and Injector Rings were a Cackling Goose, Wood Ducks (12), a Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flickers (14), an Eastern Phoebe, an Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwings (approx. 75), a Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (7), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbirds (approx. 150 in 2 flocks) and Common Grackles (26). Dave

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The morning was mostly sunny and cool with a slight breeze. Lake Law produced a Northern Shoveler and a Ruddy Duck (also seen by Gail yesterday). In addition, the number of Canada Geese in the area has noticeably increased (it is, by the way, already fall). A.E. Sea showed some activity by producing both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal, a couple of Soras, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, a Least Sandpiper, a Long-billed Dowitcher and an American Pipit. For the first time in a while the Sea of Evanescence had more Great Blue Herons (more than 20) than Great Egrets (less than 10). Also, at the far south end of Evanescence was an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron. Cedar Waxwings still remain in the area with about 35-40 moving among the trees. Warblers were present in three small groups which included Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Black-throated Warbler, Palm Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, a Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstarts and, of course, Common Yellowthroats. Other birds found in the area were Chimney Swifts, American Crows, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wrens, a Swamp Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Not much found in a short circuit of other parts of the Lab. We had a couple of flyover Cooper's Hawks, an Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireos, an Eastern Towhee and, the bird of the day, a surprise White-eyed Vireo - by far the latest sighting in the Lab (early Aug - 15 years ago was previous late sighting). Dave

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Glenn was in the Lab this afternoon and had several interesting sightings. Most interesting were the several quite early flyover Snow Geese (4). The American White Pelican number had dropped to 4 in the Lakes Region. Birds he found at A.E. Sea were Solitary Sandpipers (2), Greater Yellowlegs (3), Lesser Yellowlegs (7), Least Sandpipers (3), a Long-billed Dowitcher, Marsh Wrens (2) and an American Pipit. Some of the other birds found elsewhere in the Lab were an American Kestrel, a large number of Mourning Doves (approx 250) and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The morning started out mostly cloudy, calm and warm. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes in the sparrow Hedge area were the worst they have been since early summer; other areas were not quite as bad. The only highlights at Lake Law were a lone American White Pelican and about 15-20 Chimney Swifts flying over the lake. There were 4 more American White Pelicans on A.E. Sea and another 30 or so on the Sea of Evanescence. These were joined by about 30 Great Egrets. Along with a good number of Killdeer on A.E. Sea, several shorebirds were found. A number of these were out of the range of my binoculars, but I did find a Solitary Sandpiper, a couple Greater Yellowlegs and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Once more, there was a large number of Cedar Waxwings at the large maple near the first trail intersection off the main trail to the Sparrow Hedge. Other than the large number of Common Yellowthroats, warblers were sparse in the area. The only other species found were a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Nashville Warbler. Several Wood Ducks, several Marsh Wrens and a Gray-cheeked Thrush were the only other birds of mention in the area. In one of my grassland monitor locations there were several, very active, Sedge Wrens. At another, I watched a group of around 6 Palm Warblers work their way along a path as they were hawking insects. Other birds found in various areas were a Least Flycatcher (plus a couple unidentified Empidonax flycatchers), a Northern Flicker, a Yellow-throated Vireo (struggling with a large caterpillar), several each of Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Tree Swallows, an Eastern Bluebird and several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning. Their main highlight was the first migrant sparrow of the season, a White- crowned Sparrow. Other highlights they had for the morning were a pair of Sandhill Cranes, several Chimney Swifts, an Eastern Phoebe, an Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallows (6), Eastern Bluebirds (4), Cedar Waxwings (they had two large flocks totaling about 100 at the center and west side of the Lab), Palm Warblers (8), Chipping Sparrows (4), a Field Sparrow and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The weather today was cool and comfortable to start with partly cloudy skies. Peter had one of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes near the Batavia Rd. and Eola Rd. intersection on the way in. We spent most of the morning in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A.E. Sea was loaded with both Great Egrets and American White Pelicans, with about 100 of each. It was a sea of white, quite a sight. Other birds associated with the Seas were Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Green Herons (2), a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (2) and Marsh Wrens. Passerines were not too abundant in the area except for the continuing large number of Cedar Waxwings. In some locations the waxwings made it hard to concentrate on other birds flittering about in the heavily foliaged trees. Of interest in the area were several Tennessee Warblers, American Redstarts and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. One Osprey was perched on the side of Nest 1. Some birds found in other locations were a Great Horned Owl, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (tied for latest sighting) and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Dave

Friday, September 16, 2016

The morning started warm, breezy and overcast. Later in the morning the sun did show occasionally. Besides lots of Mallards, A.E. Sea had Blue-winged Teal, an American White Pelican, a Greater Yellowlegs and several Lesser Yellowlegs (3). A number of birds were seen fluttering inside the Sparrow Hedge but none would come out. Typically, the early morning sun heats up leaves and causes the birds to forage for the stimulated insects. Overcast skies prevented this. The only birds I could identify were a Swainson's Thrush, a Nashville Warbler and a Blackpoll Warbler. A juvenile Cooper's Hawk, apparently begging for food, was heard then spotted in the area. Chimney Swifts and Cedar Waxwings were also in the area. Birding in the Big Woods and Main Ring produced Ruby- throated Hummingbirds, Least Flycatcher, a Yellow-throated Vireo, Tennessee Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Black-throated Green Warbler, a Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, American Redstarts, a Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroats and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The only Osprey found was preening near Nest 1. Three Turkey Vultures were soaring on the west side of the Lab. Dave Shemanske reported one of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes near the Buffalo Fields. Dave

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Marcia and Gail reported one Osprey by Nest 1 this morning. Other birds they found in the Main and Injector Ring areas were a Green Heron, a Turkey Vulture, an American Kestrel, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Kingbird, a Swainson's Thrush, an American Redstart and several Palm Warblers. Dave

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It was cool and sunny for our start at the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area. At Lake Law we had a Pied-billed Grebe, an American Coot and a flyover Green Heron. We had a nice flock of migrant birds in the sunny portion of the Sparrow Hedge. Included were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Warbling Vireos, a Philadelphia Vireo, a Swanson's Thrush, Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats. A nearby tree was loaded with about 60 Cedar Waxwings. The Sea of Evanescence produced Blue-winged Teal, a Wood Duck, about 40 Great Egrets and a single American White Pelican. Other birds found around the Lab were a Chimney Swift, Least Flycatchers, a Yellow- bellied Flycatcher, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a singing Bell's Vireo (Sparrow Hedge - west end) and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Dave

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Peter and I were gone for the last several weeks. Here is a brief review of sightings reported during that time. On Aug. 19, Dave Shemanske reported the two recent pairs of Sandhill Cranes were found together near the East Entrance. The highlights of Marcia and Gail's visit on Sept. 1 in the Main and Injector Rings were a Turkey Vulture, an Osprey (flying with a fish), 3 American Kestrels (together), 2 Sandhill Cranes, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, both a Blue-headed Vireo and a Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwings (32), a Tennessee Warbler and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. During their trip on Sept. 8, they found an Osprey near Nest 1, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a Warbling Vireo and Cedar Waxwings (26). Gail added a Black-crowned Night-Heron by Lake Logo on Sept. 4 (our first-of-the- year sighting). Also, today Peter was in the Lab for the Prairie Harvest and found a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker, Sedge Wrens, and both Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers. Glenn was also quite active during our absence. Here is a review of the highlights of his findings from our departure up and including this weekend. Here is the extensive list of birds he found Ruddy Duck, American White Pelican (the beginning of many of these to be seen over the next several weeks), Black-crown Night-heron (after being absent for most of the season, Glenn had fairly regular sightings), a Great Blue Heron (another sighting of a heron catching a snake), Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey (these were found in dwindling numbers with time), Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawks, Sora, Virginia Rail (heard in Buffalo Marsh), American Coot, Sandhill Cranes (regular sightings over the tiime period), Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (always a nice find), Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (probably preparing to leave), Belted Kingfisher (another elusive species of recent years), Red-headed Woodpecker (only the 3rd sighting for the year), Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatch (an early arrival), Sedge Wrens (fairly late sightings), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Tennessee Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Swamp Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak (possibly bred in the Lab this year), Indigo Buntings, Bobolink (a late sighting). Dave

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