Recent Bird Sightings–Nov 5

Fall migration has been variable, and different birds are seen day-to-day.   Waterfowl numbers are increasing.  Duck diversity and abundance has increased nicely over the last week, with fewer Blue-winged teal.  Green-winged teal have seemed to move in in high abundance, and Norhtern Shovelers, Gadwall, and Redheads seem to be the next most abundant species.  In the past week, we have seen a large increase in Greater white-fronted geese, and a few Canada geese, Cackling geese, and [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–Oct 10-14

Fall migration continues to progress, and as usual this time of year, we await each new weather front that comes through to push birds out and bring new birds in.  A weather front that brought over an inch of rain on Thursday-Friday last week, seemed to bring in an array of new birds:  mostly waterfowl and pushed out some of the other species that we had been seeing through the summer.  In the past week, [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–Sept 25-30

Fall migration continues, and as usual this time of year, we await each new weather front that comes through to push birds out and bring new birds in.  There are some great birds to see at Cheyenne Bottoms and water levels are prime for the waterfowl migration.  Wading birds (herons, egrets, ibis, etc) still seem to be the dominant bird most seen; Franklin gull numbers at times can be pretty large;  Still many American white pelicans can be [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–September 5-7

A nice cool front came through the area.  Some fall bird migrants were definitely pushed South and others brought into the area.  As mentioned before, Cheyenne Bottoms typically would have many more shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers, etc.) right now, but there are few mud flat areas for them.  Quivira NWR has the mudflats and some good reports of shorebirds (sandpipers, avocets, etc.) were made this weekend.  Most of the shorebird reports are from the north end of the refuge around [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-August 24

Fall migration is gearing up.  Cheyenne Bottoms typically would have many more shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers, etc.) right now, but there are few mud flat areas for them.  Quivira NWR has the mudflats and they have reported many shorebirds on the flats on the north part of the refuge.  Quivira staff and other birdwatchers have also enjoyed observing a Little Gull that has hung around there for several days.  There are some great birds to see at Cheyenne Bottoms and [...]

The Wetland Explorer-Wonders of Migration

A group of snowy egrets perch on a water control structure at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Snowy egrets are a migratory species that spends its summers at Cheyenne Bottoms, but will migrate south for the winter. (Photo by Dan Witt)

This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, August 24 as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. Let me introduce you to a new Scrabble word guaranteed to give you a win if you can pull it off…zugunruhe (pronounced zue-gun-rue).  I’d venture to say that this is a word you have never heard before.  So, what does this have to do with the Wetland Explorer?  Zugunruhe is a German word that literally [...]

Wetland Explorer: Marsh teems with “small” life

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Published in The Great Bend Tribune July 20 issue By Pam Martin Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks and Tourism educator The water of Cheyenne Bottoms is teeming with life, both above and below the water’s surface. Recent rains and average temperatures have provided perfect conditions for a population explosion of an amazing variety of macroinvertebrates – animals without backbones you can see with your eyes. From water striders skating across the water’s surface to midge bloodworms [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-June 7-13

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Some would say that we are hitting the lull time of year for birds at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Typically, the months of June and part of July are not the best for bird watching, as most of the migrants are already through and we are left with resident birds and nesting birds.  However, there is still plenty of birds to spot while driving through Cheyenne Bottoms, especially herons, egrets, avocets, ibis, pelicans, killdeer, yellow-headed blackbirds, etc.  [...]