Category Archives: Summer Bird Reports

June 1 – August 31, inclusive

Buff-breasted Sandpipers, August 27, 2020

Buff-breasted Sandpipers

Buff-breasted Sandpipers (click to see the larger version)

Two juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpipers have been hanging around Montrose Beach for a couple of days. I missed them on August 26, the day they appeared, but saw them on August 27. Buffies are one of the rarer and more sought-after shorebirds we get at Montrose. They always generate a lot of excitement in the birding community. They’re also usually tame and approachable, as the photo suggests. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.

eBird Checklist
August 27, 2020

Still More Summer Shorebirds

Piping Plover

Piping Plover (click to see the larger version)

Another good morning for shorebirds at Montrose Beach, August 21. The Red Knot and Willet continue in the fluddle on the public beach. Also, an unbanded juvenile Piping Plover made a brief appearance early in the morning, and a Pectoral Sandpiper came in and was still there when I left. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.

For more information about shorebirds at Montrose, see the Shorebirds section of the What to See page.

eBird Checklist
August 21, 2020

More Summer Shorebirds

Semipalmated Sandpipers

Semipalmated Sandpipers (click to see the larger version)

Shorebird activity is picking up. On August 19 I had a Willet, Red Knot, 6 Semipalmated Plovers, about 30 Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a Sanderling. The pool on the public beach we call the fluddle has been a hot spot and that’s where most of these shorebirds were. A Whimbrel was seen by others. Link to my eBird checklist for August 19 below.

eBird Checklist
August 19, 2020

Willets

Willet

Willet (click to see the larger version)

Willets are one of the earliest southbound migrant shorebirds we see in Chicago. Adults start to appear in late June and early July, followed by juveniles in August. Their migration is largely finished by Labor Day. This juvenile was wading in the pool of water on Montrose Beach we call Lake Montrose. August 2020.

Where was this bird born? The Dakotas? Canada? And where was it headed? Texas? Florida? The journeys of birds are extraordinary.

For more information about shorebirds at Montrose, see the Shorebirds section of the What to See page.

Cooper’s Hawks (look out!)

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (click to see the larger version)

Only the shadow knows…

Juvenile Cooper’s Hawks are on the loose and raising hell in the city. This one was trying to be incognito in a brush pile. It wasn’t fooling anybody, bird or human. A pair of Cooper’s Hawks nested near Montrose during the summer; this individual is likely one of their progeny. When they make their way over to Montrose they terrorize everything smaller than them.

August Blue-gray Gnatcatchers

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (click to see the larger version)

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are one of the first passerines to begin migrating south in summer. We’ve been seeing them almost daily and usually in multiples since early August. A few gnatcatchers were seen at Montrose during the summer and may have nested there and at other locations nearby. This one held still long enough for a snap. Taken on August 5, 2020.