Fermilab Shorebirds

Coyote, Dusaf Pond, Fermilab

Coyote, Dusaf Pond, Fermilab

I met my friend Leslie at Fermilab’s Dusaf Pond Saturday morning on another shorebird quest. A variety of birds had been seen in the last week or so and we were hopeful. The moment I got out of my car I saw a coyote, who seemed to be virtually ignored by the herons. As soon as I started taking his picture, though, he moved on.

Pectoral Sandpipers

Pectoral Sandpipers

I hadn’t been to Fermilab since the Christmas Count and felt like I owed it at least one visit this year. Click on the pictures for larger images, but for the most part, the birds were too far away to get much detail. And again, we did not see anything unusual. The only thing predictable was the lack of rain would likely produce good shorebird habitat. The rest was up to the birds. Other than the species depicted here, we saw Semipalmated Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs, and one Black-Bellied Plover.

Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper

The lack of water has done something else, too. There has been a large fish kill. We drove down to one end to walk through plowed stubble where the smell of rotting fish was not welcoming.

Fish Skeleton

Fish Skeleton

Here’s a Great Egret with a fish and a Lesser Yellowlegs maybe waiting for the egret to drop a piece of it. This picture was taken on the other side of the A&E Sea, another Fermilab body of water.

Great Egret and Friends2 1I2A1451

Great Egret & Lesser Yellowlegs 1I2A1471

Invariably there were Killdeer and maybe since we don’t pay inordinate attention to them they don’t seem to mind the occasional photograph.

Killdeer 1I2A1481


Great Egret 1I2A1514

Great Egret

Summer is winding down. It’s hard to believe all these birds will be gone soon.

And the butterflies too…

Orange Suplhur  Butterfly

Orange Suplhur Butterfly

10 thoughts on “Fermilab Shorebirds

  1. What a beautiful narrative. The coyote really grab’s the reader’s attention at the beginning. Great Heron wraps it up with a powerful ending. And I for some reason will be particularly sorry to summer end.

    • Thanks, Linda! I was surprised to see the coyote so close, usually when they are visible they are farther away at Fermi. But Leslie said “He’s there all the time.” I can’t really complain about this summer, it’s been pretty delightful weather except for this current warmup but I guess I’m just ready for a change. I will miss the longer days!

  2. delightful and you have captured the changing of the seasons, ever so subtly. Summer is definitely coming to an end..Birds will be passing thru Colorado, heading south..love your work..

    • Your days are so much longer than ours it must seem like summer forever. Actually weatherwise we just started summer with a current heat wave. I’ve been spoiled by the cooler weather up until now, but those who like hot weather probably feel like they’re finally vindicated. I’ll miss the longer days…but not if they’re too hot!

Leave a Reply