I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, September 3. The highlight for me, hands down, was the cooperative juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the beach. I haven’t seen a Buffy at Montrose in a few years, and I hadn’t seen one yet this fall, so I was fairly excited (thanks for the text, Fran M). The bird was working the north side of the fluddle with a few other shorebirds, including a young Stilt Sandpiper, another good shorebird for Montrose. My passerine highlight was a Connecticut Warbler in the dune willows. These willows have proven, both spring and fall, to be an excellent migrant trap. I ended up with “only” 39 species, but when 2 of those are Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Connecticut Warbler you shut up and count your blessings.
Al Stokie found an adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Montrose Beach this morning, July 27. Al first saw the bird near the fence at the west end of the protected area. He said the bird flew off after a few minutes and I thought I wouldn’t get to see it but it magically reappeared in front of us while we were standing at the base of the fishhook pier. This was about 7:20. A Killdeer spooked the bird and it flew off to the west and wasn’t seen again. This is the first Buff-breasted Sandpiper I’ve heard of not only for Illinois but the upper Midwest. There were also Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and Semipalmated Plovers on the beach.