A nice group of shorebirds were working the fluddle at the far west end of Montrose Beach late this afternoon, August 25, including a juvenile Red Knot and a juvenile Stilt Sandpiper. Also present were Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. Red Knot and Stilt Sandpiper are rare but regular migrants at Montrose.
A second cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull was at Montrose Beach on August 23. Another or the same Lesser Black-backed Gull was at Montrose on July 11. Lesser Black-backed Gulls are rare but regular at Montrose.
Three Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were at the east end of Montrose Harbor late this afternoon, August 17. The birds swam around and perched on the boat docks before being flushed and flying off. This is a new site record for Montrose, number 341. Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have expanded their range to the north dramatically in the last 10 years so this wasn’t unexpected.
I saw my first juvenile American Goldfinch of the year at Montrose Point in Chicago this morning, August 17. Juvenile American Goldfinches are similar to the adult females except for their brown body color and wide buffy wingbars (adult females are green and have a narrow white wingbar). I’ve been seeing adult AMGOs at Montrose on almost all of my visits this summer so I’m fairly sure they nested there.
Because American Goldfinches are such late nesters they don’t start producing young until mid or late summer, well after most other species. In fact, many of the local nesting songbirds at Montrose, like Baltimore Orioles, Tree and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, and Red-winged Blackbirds have already migrated south.
A juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper was at Montrose Beach this morning, August 14. This is my first Baird’s of the season. My best bird however was a Cattle Egret mixed in with a group of 17 Great Egrets that flew over. Cattle Egrets are rare at Montrose.
A juvenile Willet was at the east end of Montrose Beach late this afternoon, August 9. For a variety of reasons this has been a slow summer for migrant shorebirds at Montrose, so seeing this bird was a nice surprise.