I flushed an American Woodcock from the shrubs on the south side of Montrose this morning. This is my first American Woodcock of the year. I saw nothing else of note but the harbor and inshore areas of Lake Michigan are starting to refreeze, which is a bit unsettling. The warmup forecast for this weekend should bring in some migrants, and melt the snow and ice once and for all.
Lou Munoz photographed the first year Thayer’s type Gull at Montrose Beach this morning. The bird is either a worn Thayer’s Gull or a dark Kumlien’s Gull. The line between these 2 species is sometimes fine and not all birds can be positively identified.
A shrike flew in off the lake early this morning. I walked around the point looking for it without luck so it will have to remain unidentified. Either species is possible now though Northern is far more likely. A pale first year Glaucous Gull and a pale first year Thayer’s type Gull were at the west end of the beach.
A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was hanging around the meadow this morning. Red-tailed Hawks are unusual at Montrose at any time. Other than the hawk I saw nothing else of note, and it still feels like winter. Spring is out there somewhere.
We’re three weeks into meteorological spring now and winter just won’t let go. I didn’t see anything of note, except that ice seems to be reforming on Lake Michigan! Yes, it’s been that cold. The harbor is still mostly frozen over and the beach is covered in ice. I wonder if this is the beginning of a new ice age?
There seemed to be some movement this morning, especially waterfowl. The slight southerly component to the wind must have done some good, though it still felt like winter. Some of the birds I saw include:
Canada Geese – ~200, in groups of 10s, 20s, and 30s
White-winged Scoter – 1
Canvasback – 6
Ring-necked Duck – 2 in the harbor
Scaup sp – ~50
Northern Shoveler – 2
Green-winged Teal – 1
Gadwall – 2
Great Blue Heron – 1
Lapland Longspur – 1
Snow Bunting – 1