Merlin (click to see the larger version)
Another great day at Montrose, another day with boatloads of Nelson’s Sparrows, and another day I wish I could have spent the whole morning birding the lakefront. I ended up with 59 species in 2 hours today, September 27. Highlights include Merlin, 2 Northern Harriers, 2 early Common Loons, 3 Marsh Wrens, a Sedge Wren, 14 species of warblers, 2 Bobolinks, and a whopping 25-30 Nelson’s Sparrows. I think this is my highest count for Nelson’s ever, anywhere. Like yesterday, most of today’s Nelson’s were in the western panne. Link to eBird checklist below.
Today was the kind of day I could have stayed out all morning and then some, it was that good. All this morning’s bird activity confirmed that cold fronts and west winds are fantastic bird producers along the west side of Lake Michigan in fall. I ended up with 54 species in about 2 hours of early morning birding at Montrose, highlights including Merlin, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Wilson’s Snipe, 2 Pine Warblers, Northern Parula, 12 Nelson’s Sparrows, 3 Marsh Wrens, Bobolinks, and a Purple Finch. No pics today – I was too busy looking. Link to my eBird checklist below.
Eastern Whip-poor-will (click to see the larger version)
I spent almost 4 hours at Montrose this morning, September 24. I didn’t have high hopes because of the east winds but it turned out to be a good day. I ended up with 61 species, my best count this fall so far. Highlights include Osprey, Eastern Whip-poor-will (see photo), Wood Thrush, Clay-colored Sparrow, Sedge Wren, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. Link to eBird checklist below.
American Golden-Plover (click to see the larger version)
I went over to Montrose late this afternoon, September 20, to look for the juvenile American Golden-Plover reported earlier in the day. I found the bird at the west end of the beach, standing and walking among beachgoers. It seemed content, despite all the people using the beach. American Golden-Plovers are uncommon but regular fall visitors to Montrose.
Black-bellied Plover (click to see the larger version)
Montrose was pretty good this morning, September 17. I ended up with 58 species in about 4 hours of birding the Point. Swainson’s Thrushes and Palm Warblers were the most obvious, but the the 8 – 10 Nelson’s Sparrows were the highlight for me. All these birds were in the Dunes and most were in the western panne. These are the first Nelson’s Sparrows I’ve seen at Montrose this fall. When it rains it pours I guess. Other goodies include a flyover American Golden-Plover, Merlin, several Bobolinks, Dickcissel, Marsh Wren, and a variety of warblers.
Sunrise Over Montrose Beach (click to see the larger version)
We’ve had some spectacular and dramatic sunrises in August and September. I snapped this one from Montrose Beach with my cell phone on the morning of September 1, 2016.