Author Archives: rhughes

About rhughes

Robert D. Hughes lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. His professional background is in Web site management and front-end Web development. He also writes about Web development issues and works with Joomla! CMS. When he isn't sitting in front of a computer he's out in the field looking for and photographing birds and other critters.

Willets, August 14, 2017

I went over to Montrose late this afternoon, August 14, to look for the Stilt Sandpipers seen earlier in the day. They must have flown off, but in their place I found 5 juvenile Willets in the fluddle at the west end of the beach. This fluddle has been very attractive to migrant shorebirds in the past. It’s disappearing fast and I imagine it will be completely gone in a few days without rain. I also had Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. Here’s to a good soaking rain in the next few days.

Piping Plover and Swainson’s Thrush, July 23, 2017

Piping Plover

Piping Plover (click to see the larger version)

A banded juvenile Piping Plover has been hanging around Montrose Beach for a few days. This morning I saw it in the fluddle on the public beach (fluddles are pools of water that form after heavy rains and are attractive to migrating shorebirds). As of this post, the source location of this bird has not been determined. Several banded Piping Plovers that have appeared on the Illinois Lake Michigan lakefront in the past have been traced to the population from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan. Perhaps that is where this bird is from. After the plover, my next best bird was an early Swainson’s Thrush, a portent of things to come in a few weeks. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38277722

June 25, 2017 – Dickcissels

Dickcissel

Dickcissel (click to see the larger version)

Several Dickcissels have been hanging around Montrose since late May. On June 25 I had 2 singing males that were acting as if on territory, singing from high perches at the east end of the point near the native planting area. This happens every year at Montrose – Dickcissels begin to appear in late spring, hang around for a few weeks, and then disappear by the end of June. I don’t think there’s enough of the right kind of habitat at Montrose for them to breed and attempted or successful nestings have not been confirmed.

June 10, 2017 – Late Migrants

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo (click to see the larger version)

I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, June 10, and I had several obvious migrants, including Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Mourning Warbler. It’s hard to believe the first southbound migrant shorebirds will start appearing in a few weeks, and the whole thing will begin again. Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include

Semipalmated Sandpiper – 8
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Ovenbird – 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1
Dickcissel – 2

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37504195

June 4, 2017 – Down to a Trickle

I spent about 3 hours at Montrose this morning, June 4. I ended up with 52 species, including 10 warblers, which I consider decent considering the date. Migration is down to a trickle but at least there were still migrants. My highlights include

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 2
Alder Flycatcher – 2
Willow Flycatcher – 2
Great Crested Flycatcher – 2
Northern Waterthrush – 1
American Redstart – 2
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Northern Parula – 1
Blackburnian Warbler – 1
Blackpoll Warbler – 1
Canada Warbler – 1
Wilson’s Warbler – 3
Dickcissel – 2

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37373416

Montrose in the News!

The WTTW news program Chicago Tonight ran a fine piece about the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary and its birds on May 24, 2017. The piece featured photos and videos from renowned nature photographer Rob Curtis and commentary from bird habitat expert Judy Pollock. Click the play button below to watch it in its entirety.