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.
I designed this blog and manage the content for it and its sister birding website, Birding Montrose Point. I also pay for hosting and deal with the many challenges associated with running large, complex websites. I thoroughly enjoy telling the story of Montrose, one of the most renowned bird and nature sanctuaries in the United States. Empowering people with the information they can use to make informed decisions is a passion of mine. What does this blog offer?
Information about birding Montrose – where it is, how to bird it, and what to see.
Tips on making the most of your visit, including insights about weather, migration, and how to use eBird.
Bird identification content, with an emphasis on tricky, look-alike species like Greater and Lesser Scaup.
You won’t find this level of valuable information and insight anywhere else on the web. I’ve spent years curating knowledge about Montrose and I make it all publicly available on this blog. With this in mind, I’m asking for contributions to help offset the management costs. I use PayPal for donations. It’s safe, secure, and easy to use. To make a contribution, click the Donate button below and follow the instructions. Thanks!
The Piping Plover monitors found a Whimbrel on the protected portion of Montrose Beach in the afternoon of May 23. Whimbrels are rare in spring and have a narrow window of occurrence from about May 15 to May 25. This bird delighted the many birders who came to see it. It’s also a reminder that afternoon and evening birding can be just as productive as morning birding, especially for shorebirds, gulls, and terns.
May 19 will go down as the best day for migration in 2023. Montrose was full of warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers. It was also full of birders. Over 140 species were reported to eBird by all observers, and several people topped 100, which only happens a couple times each year. My highlights include
Clay-colored Sparrow (click to see the larger version)
Saturday, May 13 qualified as a fallout given the volume of warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and other passerine migrants present. Over 140 species were reported to eBird by all observers. The rain, north winds, and temperatures in the 50s didn’t slow down the birds or the birders. My highlights include
May 6 lived up to the billing and turned out to be the best day of the spring so far. The persistent south winds brought in a lot of migrants, including many first of seasons. About 130 species were reported to eBird by all observers, which is about as good as we do. Sparrows were well represented, with many White-throated and White-crowned. Warbler variety was low, but it’s still early. My highlights for the morning include
Golden-crowned Kinglet (getting late)
Clay-colored Sparrow (3)
Dark-eyed Junco (getting late)
Bobolink (3, all males)
Black-throated Blue Warbler
We’re close to the peak of spring migration. The next couple weeks should see an increase in warbler, flycatcher, and Catharus thrush numbers. Keep checking weather forecasts for warm fronts, and keep checking the Montrose Point eBird Hotspot for the latest sightings.
The forecast for this week has changed. We’ll get a shot of warmer air and south winds on Thursday and into Friday, so Friday could be a good day. This change is reflected in the BirdCast forecast showing a sizable movement of migrants into northern Illinois Thursday night. Hopefully some of these birds will hang around for our Spring Count on Saturday.