Today was the best day of the fall for me. I ended up with 53 species in about 3 hours of birding, with good numbers of passerines, especially warblers and Catharus thrushes. Highlights include Connecticut and 2 Golden-winged Warblers (10 warbler species total), Bobolink, Dickcissel, the continuing American Avocet, and a surprise Turkey Vulture. TVs aren’t rare at Montrose but we don’t see a lot of them. Shorebirds were skimpy, mainly because the fluddle has dried up. I also had impressive numbers of aerial insectivores, mostly Chimney Swifts and Barn Swallows, a few bonus Cliff Swallows, and what seemed like thousands of buzzing dragonflies. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
Several Dickcissels have been hanging around Montrose since late May. On June 25 I had 2 singing males that were acting as if on territory, singing from high perches at the east end of the point near the native planting area. This happens every year at Montrose – Dickcissels begin to appear in late spring, hang around for a few weeks, and then disappear by the end of June. I don’t think there’s enough of the right kind of habitat at Montrose for them to breed and attempted or successful nestings have not been confirmed.
Black-billed Cuckoo (click to see the larger version)
I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, June 10, and I had several obvious migrants, including Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Mourning Warbler. It’s hard to believe the first southbound migrant shorebirds will start appearing in a few weeks, and the whole thing will begin again. Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include
I took the day off today, May 16, in anticipation of the south winds and expected bird bonanza at Montrose. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve been birding Montrose for 35 years and I’ve had some great days there, but I can say that today was the best day I’ve ever had, and I can back that claim up with numbers. I ended up with 110 species in about 9 hours of birding (split over morning and afternoon visits), besting my previous personal high by 7 species. Passerines were the highlight, with good numbers of warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers. I also picked up several bonus birds that helped pad my total. My highlights include
I went over to Montrose late this afternoon to see what was around. Three Semipalmated Sandpipers were inside the protected area at the east end of the beach. On land I heard a Dickcissel calling from the trees inside the forbidden area and I saw a Great Crested Flycatcher in the Magic Clump. The biggest surprise was a male Yellow-rumped Warbler in the peripheral plantings. On my way back I stopped at the Golf Course Pond and had 5 Black-crowned Night-Herons.
I birded Montrose for a little while this morning, June 6. At this time of the year I don’t have very high expectations and I go more for the exercise than anything else, but I always take my bins just in case. Here’s what a I had:
Red-breasted Merganser – 1, the continuing female in the lake at the east end of the beach
Green-winged Teal – 1 female in the lake at the east end of the beach
Black-crowned Night-Heron – 1 at the east end of the harbor
Dunlin – 1, the continuing bird in the fluddle next to the fishhook pier inside the protected area
Semipalmated Sandpiper – 16 on the beach inside the protected area
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 1
Blue Jay – 1
Mourning Warbler – 2, 1 female and 1 male
Dickcissel – 1
The nesting Red-winged Blackbirds are now in kamikaze mode. I was repeatedly dive bombed by an aggressive male near the forbidden zone.