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 shorebird habitat even if birds were in the area.  

The recent rains have been appreciated for the most part.  KDWPT staff have been able to capture a good amount of water in storage pools by diverting water from the Arkansas River and Walnut Creek as well as pumping water from exterior pools into the storage pool.  This stored water will be much appreciated later on in the year after temperatures surely will heat up later in the summer.  With the stored water, there should be water available in most pools when birds return in the Fall.  

The majority of what is being seen will be birds that will be able to be seen throughout the rest of the summer.  A few species of ducks and Canada geese can be seen area wide, and many of these are probably currently on nests.  Gulls and terns seem to be relatively common.  A group of American white pelicans can be seen most days.  Herons, egrets, avocets, and stilts are also quite commonly seen most days.  Grassland nesting birds also should be plentiful in the areas surrounding the wetlands if you care to check them out. 

Give us your reports.  We rely heavily on other birders to know what is being seen at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Submit reports to Ebird, or email your observations to wetlandscenter@fhsu.edu.

Here is a list birds that have been reported over the last couple weeks:

  • Canada Goose–quite a few pairs area-wide with young geese now
  • Wood Duck-1 drake seen in the inlet canal on 6/7
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Blue-winged Teal–quite a few BWT area-wide 
  • Green-winged Teal–one pair seen 6/7
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Redhead–a small flock seen flying over inlet canal 6/7
  • Ruddy Ducks-relatively abundant especially in Pool 1a and 1b
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Neotropic Cormorant–1 pair on a prominent nest seen on the same island in Pool 4a as seen the last 2 years 
  • American White Pelican–a group of about 60 seen in Pool 2 on 6/7
  • American Bittern
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • White-faced Ibis–not many ibis seem to be around now.  1 individual seen in Pool 4a on 6/7 
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Coot
  • Snowy Plover
  • Killdeer–Many area-wide
  • Black-necked Stilt–a relatively large group of ~15 stilts in Pool 4a on 6/7
  • American Avocet–a fair number of avocets seen area wide
  • Spotted Sandpiper–one bird occasionally being seen in the pond behind KWEC
  • Upland Sandpiper  
  • Franklin’s Gull– several large flocks of Franklin’s on and near the Bottoms
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Black Tern
  • Least Tern–1 spotted over Pool 4b on 6/7
  • Forster’s Tern–very abundant
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker   
  • American Kestrel
  • Western Kingbird
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Horned Lark
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Bank Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow 
  • Barn Swallow
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Grasshopper Sparrow
  • Dickcissel
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Western Meadowlark 
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird

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