Nature Notes

Learn how plants and wildlife respond to seasonal changes throughout the year

Recent Bird Sightings–July 29

Early Fall migration has begun.  Over the last week, an influx of migrating shorebirds has come in to Cheyenne Bottoms.  Summer resident birds also remain abundant.  Bird activity on the marsh has been relatively good at about any time of day, even on hot days.   Water levels remain good area wide.  Most of the bird activity has been noticed in Pools 4a and 4b from the interior dike roads.  Other pools may have good birds, but [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–June 24

Summer conditions have been prevalent at the wetlands over the last few weeks.  Temperatures have been in the upper 90′s to 100′s for over 2 weeks.  Surprisingly, even with the extreme heat, bird activity on the marsh has been relatively good.   Pools were seeing some drying until a storm on June 17 dumped approximately 1.25-2.00 inches of rain in the area.  Storage pools at Cheyenne Bottoms are full.  This stored water will be much appreciated later on in [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–June 7

The Spring migration has slowed dramatically over the last 2 weeks.  While some good birds still exist, numbers and diversity have dramatically decreased.  This decrease is basically because of two main reasons.  1.  June is historically one of the slower birding months at Cheyenne Bottoms–most migrants have already passed through to their northern breeding grounds and 2.  rains have increased water levels in most pools of Cheyenne Bottoms to the point that there is not much [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–May 23

The Spring migration has been excellent this year.  Rains supplying some much needed water in the Cheyenne Bottoms pools along with excellent management of that water by KDWPT staff, have provided a great diversity of habitats and birding opportunities throughout the Spring migration season.  As is the case every year, bird diversity is ever changing, and what is being seen one day could very well be gone the next.   Most migrating ducks have already moved [...]

White Ibis spotted at CBWA

Photo by Dan Witt

A White Ibis was observed at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area on Saturday, April 30 about 1 mile NE of the KWEC building along K-156 Hwy.  The bird, an adult ibis, was with a group of about 150 White-faced Ibis.  According the Robert Penner’s book The Birds of Cheyenne Bottoms, this is only the 7th record of White Ibis at Cheyenne Bottoms over the last 40 years.  And, according the The Birds of Kansas there are [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–May 1

Opportune rains have brought much needed moisture to the wetlands over the last 2 weeks.  KDWPT staff has managed the inflowing water well, while also preserving excellent mudflat habitats for thousands of migrating shorebirds.  TNC staff estimated over 150,000 “peeps” during shorebird surveys 2 weeks ago. As is historically the case, the weeks surrounding right now prove to be the best birding weeks at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Diversity and abundance are at annual high levels typically [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–April 12

Despite many windy days, the past couple weeks have produced some excellent birding! Several “first of season birds” have been reported in the last couple weeks, including Eared Grebe, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, White-faced Ibis, Piping Plover, Black-necked Stilt, Franklin’s Gull, Tree Swallow, and Barn Swallow.  Another highlight of this past weekend, were 10 Whooping cranes observed in Pool 1C the evening of April 8 and continued through the morning of April 9, [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-March 23

Early Spring migration continues. Several “first of season birds” have been reported in the last couple weeks, including Ruddy Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, American Golden Plover, American Avocet, Western Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.  Sandhill cranes continue to move in the area, and 4 Whooping Cranes were observed at Quivira NWR during the evening of March 22 and through the morning of March 23.   Duck numbers and diversity remain excellent at Cheyenne [...]