Montrose was bursting with Monarchs on September 27. I’ve been birding and looking at butterflies there for 40 years and I can’t remember seeing so many. They seemed to be dripping off the asters and goldenrods. Obviously they had a good year. Sanctuaries like the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary provide refuge for all kinds of wildlife and prove that nature will thrive when given a chance. Oh yeah, I did some birding too. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.