The past winter started out very mild which resulted in a record breaking Christmas Bird Count. 55 species were recorded which is 10 more the previous high count. Record high counts were also obtained for 17 species, including 117 American Robins and 68 Northern Shovelers. The mild December however ended with a huge snow-storm which resulted in heavy snow coverage for the remainder of the season. This in turn produced many sightings of Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs which frequented the buffalo feeders and the edges of Eola Rd.
The spring migration was much improved over last year, and resulted in a record high Spring Bird Count of 103 species. The most unusual sighting was a Hooded Warbler.
An unusually wet spring and early summer resulted in the site's first breeding record for Pied Billed Grebe. The birds bred in the flooded ponds along Eola Rd., however, these ponds dried out before the chicks were able to fledge and the youngster in the photograph was rescued near the Buffalo Feeders.
Half of ELM 14 was burnt for the first time this spring in an attempt to prevent the area from becoming too overgrown with scrub. The hope is to maintain suitable breeding habitat for Bell's Vireos. Several pairs of vireos returned to the area again this year. Not surprisingly, however, their breeding territories were all concentrated in the unburnt area. It will be interesting to see if they move into the burnt area next year after it has had some time to recover. If they do then it should be possible to maintain the area in the transitional state preferred by the vireos with regular burns of alternating halves of the area.
Nesting success was particularly good in the heron rookery on Lake Logo this year with most of the Great Blue Heron nests successfully producing two young. Large numbers of Double-crested Cormorants also nested there along with several Great Egret pairs.
It has been a particularly dry and mild fall. The resulting low water levels at Lake Law has again produced excellent sedge and mudflat habitat, which means that it has been a good year for migrating shorebirds and an unusually good year for American Pipits.
Two new species were added to the Fermilab bird list this year bringing the tally up to 267: