The Curve-billed Thrasher was still at Montrose early this morning, June 29. I was near the north end of the Magic Hedge when I noticed Geoff Williamson looking at and then pointing to something. I assumed he had the thrasher and when I got closer I could see the bird perched near the top of a Jack Pine. The thrasher posed obligingly for a minute or 2 before flying about 50 yards to the east and disappearing into the underbrush. I didn’t follow it but I assume it’s still in the area.
Clay-colored Sparrow (click to see the larger version)
Geoff also alerted me to a Clay-colored Sparrow he heard singing near the Park Bait Shop while driving in. I went over to the area and after a little poking around found the Clay-colored in the group of small evergreens just across the road from the Park Bait Shop. This is a very unusual sighting as Clay-colored Sparrows don’t normally occur at Montrose in late June.
The Curve-billed Thrasher was obviously the big story at Montrose today but there were a few other birds of interest. Late this afternoon I had 6 Semipalmated and 1 White-rumped Sandpiper inside the protected area at the east end of the beach. This might be the latest spring White-rumped I’ve ever seen. Also, the continuing female Red-breasted Merganser was inside the harbor.
Curve-billed Thrasher. Photo by Nathan Goldberg. (click to see the larger version)
Montrose regular Luiz Munoz found a Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) near the Magic Hedge on Wednesday, June 18. The bird was seen and photographed by many, and as of June 22 is still present. Curve-billed Thrashers are normally found in the southwest United States and northern Mexico, though they do wander and there are extralimital records for several Midwestern states. This is just the second Illinois record of this species, the first coming from Rend Lake in December, 1992, as well as the 338th species recorded from Montrose.
To see a list of the birds that have been recorded at Montrose, please refer to the Birds Recorded at the Montrose Point Area in Chicago page.