The 2 American Avocets found this morning (May 28) at Montrose Beach were still there as of 4:30 p.m. Both birds were in the fluddle just west of the beach house. I also had an adult Laughing Gull in the fluddle in the same area as the avocets. A couple kids flushed the bird but it relanded and joined a group of Ring-billed Gulls near the volleyball nets.
The 2 Black-necked Stilts seen on May 27, 2016 represent just the second record of this species for Montrose (the first occurring in May 2015). Black-necked Stilts have been moving north for a couple decades and now breed in Illinois, so the recent sightings from Montrose aren’t surprising.
I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, May 27. Most of the passerines from earlier in the week must have flown north with the south winds, which isn’t surprising. The waterbirding however was much better. Two Black-necked Stilts and 2 immature Franklin’s Gulls were on the beach early in the morning. The stilts were in the fluddle on the beach, working west and feeding along the way. They flew to the east and disappeared after a little while. The Franklin’s Gulls didn’t stay long either. Black-necked Stilt is an accidental species at Montrose, with just one previous record.
The real excitement came when a group of Double-crested Cormorants flew over that contained a noticeably smaller cormorant. We could tell the bird was brownish, so it was probably an immature, and based on size likely a Neotropic, a species unrecorded at Montrose. The bird was too far away and the flock was moving too fast to make out any other plumage features. I’m not going to add it to the list of birds seen at Montrose because of the distance involved but I think it was a Neotropic.
Montrose isn’t good for just birds. I found this Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis) roosting in a tree on May 24. See, bats really do hang upside down. Thanks to my Facebook friends for identifying this fellow.
Montrose was excellent this morning, May 24, with a notable influx of flycatchers, later warblers, female warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Red-eyed Vireos. I ended up with 81 species in about 2.5 hours, including 19 species of warblers. It was hands down the best day of the spring for me for passerines. My highlights include:
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee – 25
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 3
Alder Flycatcher – 8
Willow Flycatcher – 6
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Sedge Wren – 1, the continuing bird in the Meadow
Swainson’s Thrush – 40
Worm-eating Warbler – 1, the continuing bird. Seen and heard singing in
the bushes near the water feature.
Mourning Warbler – 10
Northern Parula – 1
Bay-breasted Warbler – 5
Blackburnian Warbler – 10
Blackpoll Warbler – 25, many females
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Black-throated Green Warbler – 10
Canada Warbler – 12
Wilson’s Warbler – 15
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Dickcissel – 1
Bobolink – 1
Orchard Oriole – 1
A Worm-eating Warbler was clearly the best bird at Montrose this
morning, May 22. I first heard it singing in the peripheral plantings
just about due south of the Magic Hedge. I initially passed the bird off
as a Chipping Sparrow and even walked by it a couple times without
visually confirming the identification. On my last pass I decided to
actually look at the bird and my Chipping Sparrow morphed into a
Worm-eating Warbler. The bird hung around for a while and multiple
people were able to see it. There are only a handful of records of
Worm-eating Warbler for Montrose and this is the first one I’ve seen
there. I hope some of the photographers got good shots of it.