Tag Archives: Bonaparte’s Gull

Black-legged Kittiwake, November 13, 2015

Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged Kittiwake. Photo by Geoff Williamson. (click to see a larger version )

One doesn’t usually associate Black-legged Kittiwakes with strong west winds on the west side of Lake Michigan but this morning a first year Black-legged Kittiwake flew south past Montrose Point, delighting the several people who were conducting a lakewatch at the end of the fishing pier.

Other birds seen on today’s westerlies include about a dozen Franklin’s Gulls (a more expected species on strong west winds), numbers of Bonaparte’s Gulls, several Northern Harriers, an American Woodcock, and a few Lapland Longspurs and Common Redpolls.

Bonaparte’s Gulls, April 25, 2015

There was a lot of activity on the lake at Montrose this morning, April 25, including good numbers of Caspian Terns, Double-crested Cormorants, and Red-breasted Mergansers. More exciting were the Bonaparte’s Gulls. In about 45 minutes I estimate I had about 200 moving north past the point, and I only stopped looking when the rain started coming down in earnest. Bonaparte’s Gulls have become rare at Montrose in the spring, so seeing this many was a pleasant surprise. I also had a single Common Loon and White-winged Scoter and flocks of Lesser Scaup. Migrant landbirds were scarce, as would be expected with northeast winds.

Franklin’s Gulls, October 26, 2013

Karen and I spent a couple hours at Montrose on October 26.
The highlight were a 100 or so Franklin’s Gulls. Most were flying over
and continuing south but a few spent some time on the beach. The largest
flock was about 50 birds, the smallest 4. This is one of my best counts
of Franklin’s Gulls at Montrose ever, a consequence no doubt of the
recent strong westerly winds. In addition to the Franklin’s we had a
number of other birds of interest, including:

American Bittern – 1 in the dunes
Bonaparte’s Gull – 6, all first cycle birds
Short-eared Owl – 2 flying around the dunes and over the lake
Greater Yellowlegs – 1 on the beach
Wilson’s Snipe – 1
American Woodcock – 1
Lapland Longspur – 1
Snow Bunting – 2
American Pipit – 1

West winds in late October do a birder good.