Recent Bird Sightings–October 28

It is hard to say we are in Fall migration as temperatures continue to be ~20 degrees above normal temperatures for the end of October.  However, we are seeing more Fall migrants coming through the Cheyenne Bottoms area.  The common birds being seen at Cheyenne Bottoms include: herons, coots, gulls, ducks, geese, harriers, sandhill cranes, and grebes.

We’ve finally started seeing larger groups of Sandhill cranes and White-fronted geese.  They seemed absent far too long this fall.  We also have had 2 reports of Whooping Cranes at Quivira NWR in the past week.  This is the time of year for Whoopers to be coming through the area, so keep your eyes peeled for these majestic birds.

Duck hunting season has been open at Cheyenne Bottoms for the last few weeks, and it along with goose season is scheduled to open this weekend in the Late Zone, which includes Quivira NWR.  If Whooping cranes are present at Quivira NWR, hunting is closed.  If they are present at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, the pools being used by the cranes will be closed to hunting.  For more information on Whooping crane sightings, visit the Whooper Watch page on the KWEC Website or see Quivira’s Whooping Crane site. 

Water levels remain good area wide.  Several of the pools have dropped in water level some over the last couple weeks exposing some shoreline.  These shorelines have provided some mudflat habitat that was not there a few weeks ago, and has provided some additional shorebird sightings.  However, shorebird habitat and shorebirds remain relatively scarce.  Storage pools remain relatively full, despite KDWPT maintaining Pools 2, 3a, 4a, and 4b at approximately 13-18″ depth.  Water levels and waterfowl reports are updated weekly on the KDWPT website:  http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Wildlife-Areas/Southwest/Cheyenne-Bottoms  

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-some large groups can be seen in the area, especially in the evenings
  • Snow Goose-not many, but some mixed in with White-fronts
  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Gadwall
  • American wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Blue-winged Teal-still quite abundant, but numbers have decreased
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal-numbers increasing
  • Redhead-some large groups of up to 100 redheads have been seen 
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Ring-necked Pheasant 
  • Pied-billed Grebe–typically quite numerous in most areas
  • Eared Grebe-one reported on 10/18
  • Mourning Dove
  • Sora-many can be flushed out of cattails if you are able to walk into the marsh
  • American Coot-thousands of coots area-wide
  • Sandhill crane-as many as 7000 reported in fields on TNC property and various other fields around Cheyenne Bottoms
  • American Avocet
  • Killdeer
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Franklin’s Gull-thousands of gulls in the air and on the water most days
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Double-crested Cormorant-seeing quite a few cormorants in the inlet canal some days
  • American White Pelican–typically a couple large groups (100-200 birds) being seen often near the middle of Pool 1
  • American Bittern
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Cattle Egret  
  • Black-crowned Night Heron-still multiple birds being seen occasionally. Mostly juveniles
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Northern Harrier–numbers continue to increase
  • Red-tailed Hawk  
  • Great Horned Owl  
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Northern Flicker   
  • American Kestrel
  • Bluejay
  • Horned Lark
  • Mountain Bluebird–1 reported on TNC property on 10/25
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Meadowlark Sp.
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird

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