Monthly Archives: October 2014

October 31, 2014 Storm

I went over to Montrose this afternoon to see the wave action on Lake Michigan from the storm that went through. I’ve lived in Chicago all my life and I’ve seen some impressive weather but this storm has to rank near the top in terms of violence and intensity. A large part of the dunes at Montrose Beach was flooded. At times part of the fishing pier was under water. Waves were crashing 20-30 feet high against the fishing pier. Lake Michigan was roiling. I even saw a few birds, including a Northern Harrier flying south over the lake.

October 19, 2014

Montrose was very lively this morning, October 19, with lots of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, both kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrushes around. Here’s a partial list of what Karen and I saw:

Black-bellied Plover – 2
Dunlin – 2
Sanderling – 2
Merlin – 1
Chimney Swift – 6
White-eyed Vireo – 1 immature (gray eyes)
Winter Wren – ~5
Brown Creeper – 4
Gray Catbird – 1
American Pipit – 1
Lapland Longspur – 4, in the dunes
Snow Bunting – 4, also in the dunes
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Nashville Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – ~8
Northern Parula – 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 male
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – ~6
Blackpoll Warbler – 1
American Redstart – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Chipping Sparrow – 1
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
Fox Sparrow – ~6
Harris’s Sparrow – 1 immature
Rusty Blackbird – 2
Purple Finch – 2
Pine Siskin – 2

The White-eyed Vireo was probably the best bird of the day, and I don’t think I’ve seen one at Montrose in the fall before. I first saw it in the willows in the dunes and later in the peripheral plantings and again near the Magic Hedge. I’m assuming this was the same individual that was just moving around a lot.

The Harris’s Sparrow was at the east end of the native planting area, not far from the tower.

Greater White-fronted Goose, October 16, 2014

Greater White-fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose (click to see the larger version)

The adult Greater White-fronted Goose was still at Montrose this morning, October 16. I first saw it in the lake with Canada Geese south of the restrooms, and I saw it again with Canada Geese on the grass just east of the bait shop as I was driving out.

I also walked around the point for a little while and there seemed to be good numbers of passerines around, especially White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows. Some of the other birds I saw include:

Horned Grebe – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 1, the continuing juvenile I presume
Black-belled Plover – 2 at the east end of the beach
Sanderling – ~8, all at the west end of the beach
Chimney Swift – ~300 swarming low over the point
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1 male
Horned Lark – 1 flyover at the beach
Winter Wren – 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – ~6
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 2
American Pipit – 1 flyover
Lapland Longspur – 1 flushed from the beach
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 5
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
American Tree Sparrow – 1, my FOS
Fox Sparrow – 1
Rusty Blackbird – 4, all in the dunes
Purple Finch – 2, 1 male and 1 female
Pine Siskin – 1

Nelson’s Sparrow, October 7, 2014

I had a Nelson’s Sparrow in the meadow at Montrose this afternoon, October 7. The meadow is the open grassy area east of the Magic Hedge. At this time of the year the dunes are the best place to see Nelson’s at Montrose but they occasionally show up in the meadow as well. I saw nothing else of note.

October 4, 2014

There were decent numbers of birds at Montrose this morning, especially Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers and both kinglets. I also had Magnolia, Tennessee, Black-and-white, and Black-throated Green Warblers, American Redstart, and Bobolink among others. I saw a Nelson’s Sparrow in the meadow east of the Magic Hedge, my first Nelson’s of the fall. The American Golden-Plover was still at the beach along with 5 Black-bellied Plovers.