I had a Rough-legged Hawk fly south over Montrose Point this morning. Rough-legged Hawks are rare at Montrose; I think I’ve seen fewer than 10 in the 35+ years I’ve been birding there. I saw the bird just after sunrise and it was a couple of hundred feet high so it must have started migrating in the dark.
Other birds seen at Montrose this chilly a.m. include:
American Pipit – 2
Fox Sparrow – 2
Savannah Sparrow – 1
Lapland Longspur – 5
Snow Bunting – ~8
Common Redpoll – 3
Pine Siskin – 1
It was so cold this morning the lake was steaming, something we usually don’t see until well into winter.
Lake Michigan Steaming (click to see a larger version)
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.
I had a drake Long-tailed Duck at the mouth of Montrose Harbor this morning, December 10. This looks like the same bird that was at Loyola recently. My other good bird for the morning was a flyover Common (I assume) Redpoll while looking at the Long-tailed Duck. Also, 2 lingering Ruddy Ducks and all 3 mergansers. Video of the Long-tailed below.
I heard and then saw a Common Redpoll at Montrose this morning, November 21 near the south end of the Magic Hedge. This is my first Common Redpoll of the season, but not the first Common Redpoll OF the season at Montrose, since Al Stokie had one back in late October.
In other news, winter ducks have finally (and I guess this is a good thing) arrived at Montrose. I walked out onto the fishing pier and had decent numbers of Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, as well as a few Common Goldeneyes and Buffleheads. Also, a group of Hooded Mergansers, a Redhead, and a Ruddy Duck. I did not see the Red-necked Grebe in the harbor, just Horned Grebes.