Woody Goss found a Gull-billed Tern on the protected beach late in the day on June 1. This is just the second record for Illinois and a first site record for Montrose. The bird flew off to the south after 30 minutes and has not been seen since. Gull-billed Terns are normally found on the Gulf and East coasts of the United States. They usually don’t stray far from the coast, though there are a number of extralimital records for the eastern United States. This amazing record is a reminder to keep checking the beach for unusual gulls, terns, and shorebirds.
Category Archives: Summer Bird Reports
June 1, 2023
Migration doesn’t come to a screeching halt when May ends. We always get some spillover into early June, and this June 1 proved the point. Over 70 species were reported to eBird by all observers, and I ended up with 60 species in about 2.5 hours of effort. My migrant highlights include
All of the above birds are bona fide migrants that don’t breed at Montrose. I also had Great Crested and Willow Flycatchers and Eastern Wood-Pewees. These birds have bred at Montrose or nearby but could just as well be migrants. The point is you should keep checking Montrose into early June. The pace has slowed down from mid May but we’re still seeing a variety of shorebirds, warblers, flycatchers, and other birds. Why not squeeze every last drop out of migration while it lasts?
Elderberry Delight, Late August
It’s late August and Elderberry fruit are ripening. A variety of birds eat the juicy berries, including several warblers, vireos, thrushes, and House Finches. To find the berries and the birds, look for clusters of small, purplish fruit on shrub-like plants. The photo accompanying this post shows what the berries look like. The stand of Elderberry at the edge of the woods at the far southeast corner of the Point has been excellent for birds this August.
Early Migrant Passerines, August 17, 2022
We’re about a month from the peak of songbird migration but we’ve been seeing small numbers of warblers and flycatchers for a few weeks. This is typical and expected. Migration starts as a trickle and gradually gains momentum until the peak. Some of these early migrants include Least, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Black-and-white Warblers among others. August is shorebird month but after you’re done checking the beach head up to the Magic Hedge for some early warblering.
Piping Plover, July 27, 2022
A juvenile Piping Plover was at Montrose Beach on July 26 and 27. Montrose Beach is best known as the home of Monty and Rose, but it also hosts migrant Piping Plovers that are going to or coming from other parts of the Great Lakes and possibly the Great Plains. This Piping Plover was not banded, so where it came from is unknowable.
Shorebird Fallout, July 24, 2022
An impressive flight of shorebirds took place on the morning of July 24. These birds were probably grounded by the rain that lasted most of the early morning, and may have been moving ahead of an approaching cold front, as migrating summer shorebirds often do. My list includes
Semipalmated Plover – 1
Ruddy Turnstone – 3
Sanderling – 60
Least Sandpiper – 1
Pectoral Sandpiper – 2
Semipalmated Sandpiper – 16
Short-billed Dowitcher – 4
Lesser Yellowlegs – 3
Except for the Sanderlings, most of these birds didn’t stay long. This is typical summer shorebird behavior at Montrose. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
July 24, 2022