Eastern Wood-Pewee (click to see the larger version)
It was so cold at Montrose this morning, October 13, Lake Michigan was steaming. This is a common sight in winter but rare at this time of the year, caused by a large difference in temperature between the water and air (about 30 degrees today early in the morning). Birding was productive, with lots of expected mid fall migrants like Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrushes, plus a few late warblers and other passerines. Many insect-eating passerines were feeding on the ground or close to it because of the cold. I ended up with 56 species in about 4 hours. Best birds were Semipalmated Sandpiper, Merlin, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Nelson’s Sparrow. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.
White-rumped Sandpiper (click to see the larger version)
Shorebird season is winding down at Montrose but this adult White-rumped Sandpiper put in an appearance on September 15. White-rumped Sandpipers nest in the North American High Arctic and winter in South America.
Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Terry Walsh. (click to see the larger version)
How do you spell excitement? L-O-N-G-T-A-I-L-E-D-J-A-E-G-E-R! This juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger, a first for Montrose, was seen there on September 9. I wasn’t one of the observers but still, this is a helluva good bird and long overdue.
To see a list of birds recorded at Montrose, refer to the The Montrose List page on this website.
Townsend's Solitaire. Photo by Josh Engel (click to see a larger version).
Josh Engel found a Townsend’s Solitaire at Montrose on the morning of November 16. Unfortunately this bird was literally a one hour wonder and was seen by only a handful of people. Ironically this bird fed on berries in the same tree that the Sage Thrasher had been using. This is only the second record of this species for Montrose, the first being in 2008.
Brown Creeper (click to see a larger version)
I saw this Brown Creeper at Montrose this morning. Brown Creepers are songbirds that make a living climbing up tree trunks in search of insects and other arthropods. This bird froze for a few seconds in response to a nearby Cooper’s Hawk. The streaky brown plumage makes for excellent camouflage, and when they don’t move they almost disappear against the bark of a tree.
The Common Gallinule was still at Montrose today. This morning it was on the beach inside the protected area at the base of the fishhook pier. It had previously been inside the boat harbor. Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include about 20 flyby Common Loons, 10 Snow Buntings, 8 or so Pine Siskins, and a Purple Finch. I’ve included a photo of some of the Pine Siskins.