I made a late afternoon run to Montrose today, August 31, to see if anything fun and interesting was on the beach. I didn’t have anything as exciting as the recent Parasitic Jaeger or Buff-breasted Sandpiper, but I did find 3 adult American Golden-Plovers on the public portion of the beach. The birds were initially near the plastic boardwalk but flushed and relanded a short distance away. A fair number of people were using the beach this afternoon, so I had a feeling the birds would be jumpy. Sure enough, when an unleashed dog got too close they picked up and flew off to the north. Typical. And frustrating. I also had a juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, and Sanderlings. The good news is that Lake Montrose has reformed and should be attractive to migrant shorebirds as long as it lasts (Lake Montrose is the fluddle that forms on the public beach after a heavy rain). This is prime time for Red Knots and Whimbrels along Lake Michigan.
I went over to Montrose late this afternoon, September 20, to look for the juvenile American Golden-Plover reported earlier in the day. I found the bird at the west end of the beach, standing and walking among beachgoers. It seemed content, despite all the people using the beach. American Golden-Plovers are uncommon but regular fall visitors to Montrose.
Montrose was pretty good this morning, September 17. I ended up with 58 species in about 4 hours of birding the Point. Swainson’s Thrushes and Palm Warblers were the most obvious, but the 8 – 10 Nelson’s Sparrows were the highlight for me. All these birds were in the Dunes and most were in the western panne. These are the first Nelson’s Sparrows I’ve seen at Montrose this fall. When it rains it pours I guess. Other goodies include a flyover American Golden-Plover, Merlin, several Bobolinks, Dickcissel, Marsh Wren, and a variety of warblers.
There were decent numbers of birds at Montrose this morning, especially Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers and both kinglets. I also had Magnolia, Tennessee, Black-and-white, and Black-throated Green Warblers, American Redstart, and Bobolink among others. I saw a Nelson’s Sparrow in the meadow east of the Magic Hedge, my first Nelson’s of the fall. The American Golden-Plover was still at the beach along with 5 Black-bellied Plovers.
Montrose was very birdy this morning, September 26. I hadn’t been there in over a week but I was impressed with the number of warblers around. Dominant among these were Tennessee, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped, and Palm. I also had a couple of Northern Parulas and a male Black-throated Blue Warbler, all in the Magic Hedge. Other birds of interest this a.m. include my first Hermit Thrush of the season, a flyover American Pipit at the beach, a calling Sedge Wren in the dunes, and 5 flyover American Golden-Plovers at the beach. I didn’t have any Nelson’s Sparrows in the dunes but this is prime time for them.