MEGA! Cassin’s Kingbird!, September 22, 2019

Cassin's Kingbird

Cassin’s Kingbird . Photo by K. Kurylowicz. (click to see the larger version)

Krzysztof Kurylowicz found a Cassin’s Kingbird at Montrose on September 22. This is a first state record. The bird moved around a lot and could be difficult to see well, but a number of patient and persistent birders saw and photographed this extraordinary rarity. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay long and disappeared after a couple of hours. Obviously this is a new species for Montrose, number 346, as well as our 15th flycatcher. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below. More photos of the Cassin’s can be found there as well.

eBird Checklist
September 22, 2019

Townsend’s Warbler!, September 15, 2019

Townsend's Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler. Photo by M. Ferguson. (click to see the larger version)

Montrose Point has a loooong list of rare birds to its credit. This Townsend’s Warbler, found on September 15, had birders jumping for joy. Townsend’s Warbler is normally found in the Western United States and Canada; like other birds, they sometimes stray and end up far out of range. Amazingly, this is the second record for Montrose, the other occurring back in 2002. The bird was seen again on September 16. A big thanks and shoutout to Mike Ferguson for letting me use his photo.

Late Shorebirds, September 15, 2019

Willet

Willet (click to see the larger version)

We had a nice influx of shorebirds at Montrose Beach in Chicago on September 15, including a couple of late birds flagged as such by eBird. Best were a Willet and Short-billed Dowitcher, plus Pectoral Sandpiper and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs. Sanderlings and Semipalmated Plovers continue. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
September 15, 2019

Long-billed Dowitcher, September 11, 2019

Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher (click to see the larger version)

I checked Montrose Beach on the evening of September 11 to see if any interesting shorebirds had come in. A cold front was forecast to pass the next morning and I know from experience that shorebirds often move ahead of cold fronts in the summer and fall. To my great surprise, a juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher flew in and landed in the fluddle on the public part of the beach. This is a very rare bird at Montrose—in my 40 years of birding there I’ve only seen one (and this was the only record before the September 11 sighting). Hard to believe I know but we just don’t get them. More photos of the Long-billed Dowitcher are at my eBird checklist for the day, link below.

eBird Checklist
September 11, 2019

Common Terns, September 8, 2019

Common Terns

Common Terns (click to see the larger version)

I had a great time watching and photographing a group of 3 juvenile Common Terns at Montrose Beach on September 8. The birds were flying along the beach and fishing pier, diving occasionally for fish. They even landed briefly on the fishing pier. Common Terns are uncommon terns anymore at Montrose, especially in the fall. More photos of these birds are at my eBird checklist for the day, link below.

eBird Checklist
September 8, 2019

Western Kingbird, September 4, 2019

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird. Photo by M. Ferguson. (click to see the larger version)

A Western Kingbird made an appearance at Montrose on September 4. The bird was hanging around the east end of the Point in the native planting area and enjoyed by many. Western Kingbirds are rare but regular (almost annual, actually) visitors to Montrose. Montrose is excellent for flycatchers, with 14 species recorded to date, including rarities such as Say’s Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
September 4, 2019