We’re about a month from the peak of songbird migration but we’ve been seeing small numbers of warblers and flycatchers for a few weeks. This is typical and expected. Migration starts as a trickle and gradually gains momentum until the peak. Some of these early migrants include Least, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Black-and-white Warblers among others. August is shorebird month but after you’re done checking the beach head up to the Magic Hedge for some early warblering.
A sample of birds from Montrose on June 3. This is why you should keep birding in June
Lots of photos are on my eBird checklist for the day, URL below.
June 3, 2022
I spent about three hours birding Montrose on September 7 and it was time well spent. I tallied 51 species for my effort and saw a number of personal first of season birds. According to eBird, almost 80 species were recorded by all observers. Swainson’s Thrushes have arrived and they seemed to be everywhere. The dogwood north of the Magic Hedge and the cherry trees in the meadow were flush with them. My highlights include
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Additionally, swarms of Chimney Swifts were moving south over the Point. I estimated 600 but that total is likely conservative. Link to my eBIrd checklist for the day below.
September 7, 2021
The dogwood just north of the north end of the Magic Hedge has been a hotspot for a variety of passerines this early fall. Birds I’ve seen feasting on its fruit include Gray Catbird, Swainson’s Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, and Eastern Kingbird. As of early September, the shrub has abundant berries, so it should be productive for a few weeks. Look for the clusters of pea-sized white berries to find it (as far as I know, this is the only dogwood in the sanctuary). The best approach for birding it is to stand quietly 15 to 20 feet in front of it. Patience and determination are needed to pick birds out in the thick foliage.
We’re about a month from peak landbird migration but we’ve been getting a steady trickle of Empidonax flycatchers, cuckoos, Baltimore Orioles, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and a few warblers, all expected late summer/early fall migrants. On the flip side, the Tree, Bank, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows that were such a visual and noisy presence in the Dunes have moved on. We’re still seeing Barn Swallows and Purple Martins, but the martins are getting restless and will be gone in a few weeks. Link to my eBird checklist for August 16 below.
August 16, 2021
Migration is still going on, although at a reduced rate. Just two weeks ago Montrose was overrun with warblers and other migrant passerines. Today I had only two obvious warbler migrants. This shows how fast spring migration winds down. Birds are in a hurry to get to their breeding grounds and they don’t linger long. Bonafide migrants I had at Montrose on June 4
It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks the first southbound migrants will start appearing at Montrose. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
June 4, 2021