Recent Bird Sightings-October 24

Fall migration continues and we have seen a shift in the bird community at Cheyenne Bottoms over the last couple weeks.  Groups of birds are constantly arriving and leaving the area as weather fronts move birds through.  Many of the summer resident birds have now left, such as the egrets and swallows, but there are still a few remaining individuals that can be seen on certain days.  Sandhill cranes, geese, and ducks are on the increase as cold fronts push them down from their northern breeding grounds.

Common birds to see right now include: Great Blue Herons, pelicans, ducks, gulls, grebes, cormorants, a few wading birds (like ibis and avocets), and a few shorebirds.

Water levels at Cheyenne Bottoms remain plentiful from recent rains this fall, with a good amount of water in the storage pools.  As of October 19, pool depths were as follows:  Pool 1a=26″, Pools 1b and 1c=27″, Pool 2=24″, Pool 3a=15″, Pool 3b=16″, Pool 4a=16″, Pool 4b=17″, and Pool 5=16″.  KDWPT staff are attempting to drain Pool 5 in order to complete vegetation control this Fall/Winter.  Pool depths and water fowl reports are updated weekly and can be followed on the KDWPT website at:   http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Wildlife-Areas/Southwest/Cheyenne-Bottoms  .

Waterfowl reports are changing almost daily, but as of Oct. 18, KDWPT staff were reporting 15,000-25,000 ducks with a good diversity of species.  They also report 10,000 Greater white-fronted geese.

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:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose–mostly remaining in Pool 5 refuge but some groups can be seen feeding in surrounding crop fields in mornings and evenings
  • Snow Goose–a couple mixed in with white-fronts
  • Cackling Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck–just a few observed
  • Gadwall–one of the more numerous duck species right now
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Blue-winged Teal–just a few remaining
  • Northern Shoveler–very numerous
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Redhead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Northern Bobwhite Quail
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Greater Prairie-Chicken–a flock observed on TNC Preserve
  • Wild Turkey
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant–many birds area-wide
  • American White Pelican–still many pelican groups can be seen but not as many as a few weeks ago
  • American Bittern
  • Great Blue Heron-very numerous
  • Great Egret-just a couple still remain
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk–2 observed 10/11
  • Sora
  • American Coot–extremely numerous
  • Sandhill Crane–several small groups seen flying over. numbers increasing
  • Black-bellied Plover
  • Killdeer
  • American Avocet–several small groups remain
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Sanderling
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Franklin’s Gull–large groups statewide
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Black Tern
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Short-eared Owl–observed on TNC Preserve
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Northern Flicker
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Barn Swallow
  • Marsh Wren
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • American Pipit
  • Vesper Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Sparrow

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