June 25, 2017 – Dickcissels

Dickcissel

Dickcissel (click to see the larger version)

Several Dickcissels have been hanging around Montrose since late May. On June 25 I had 2 singing males that were acting as if on territory, singing from high perches at the east end of the point near the native planting area. This happens every year at Montrose – Dickcissels begin to appear in late spring, hang around for a few weeks, and then disappear by the end of June. I don’t think there’s enough of the right kind of habitat at Montrose for them to breed and attempted or successful nestings have not been confirmed.

June 10, 2017 – Late Migrants

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo (click to see the larger version)

I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, June 10, and I had several obvious migrants, including Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Mourning Warbler. It’s hard to believe the first southbound migrant shorebirds will start appearing in a few weeks, and the whole thing will begin again. Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include

Semipalmated Sandpiper – 8
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Ovenbird – 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1
Dickcissel – 2

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37504195

June 4, 2017 – Down to a Trickle

I spent about 3 hours at Montrose this morning, June 4. I ended up with 52 species, including 10 warblers, which I consider decent considering the date. Migration is down to a trickle but at least there were still migrants. My highlights include

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 2
Alder Flycatcher – 2
Willow Flycatcher – 2
Great Crested Flycatcher – 2
Northern Waterthrush – 1
American Redstart – 2
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Northern Parula – 1
Blackburnian Warbler – 1
Blackpoll Warbler – 1
Canada Warbler – 1
Wilson’s Warbler – 3
Dickcissel – 2

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37373416

Montrose in the News!

The WTTW news program Chicago Tonight ran a fine piece about the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary and its birds on May 24, 2017. The piece featured photos and videos from renowned nature photographer Rob Curtis and commentary from bird habitat expert Judy Pollock. Click the play button below to watch it in its entirety.

May 28, 2017 – Slowing Down But Still Going

I spent about 4 hours at Montrose this morning, May 28. Things have definitely slowed down, as would be expected for the date. I found only 10 species of warblers, 2 unidentified Catharus thrushes, and no sparrows other than Song and Chipping. Even flycatcher numbers seemed depressed. There were a few shorebirds at the beach early, but none stayed long, which has become typical, unfortunately. Still, I managed to find 67 species in my 4 hours. My highlights include

Sanderling – ~20
White-rumped Sandpiper – 4, early at the beach
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 2
All 6 regularly occurring swallows
Eastern Bluebird – 1 female. Late.
Mourning Warbler – 6
Dickcissel – 1
Bobolink – 1 male

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37205396

May 21, 2017 – Still Birdy

Sanderlings

Sanderlings (click to see the larger version)

I spent about 4.5 hours at Montrose this morning, May 21, and it was still birdy. My total for the morning was 84 species. A week ago White-crowned Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers formed the bulk of the migrant passerines. By contrast, I saw only two White-crowned Sparrows and no Yellow-rumped Warblers this morning. The dominant warblers today were Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Common Yellowthroat, and American Redstart. There were also decent numbers of Wilson’s and Canada Warblers. Thrush and sparrow numbers were way down from early last week as well. My highlights include

Least Bittern – 1 female. Thanks to the kind couple who pointed her out to me.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Chimney Swift – ~300, swarming over the point
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 4
All 6 regularly occurring swallows
19 species of warblers, including Mourning, Connecticut, and 2 male Black-throated Blues

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37034362