I walked around Montrose for a bit this morning, February 8, and I can confirm that it still feels like winter. My most unexpected find was a Horned Grebe in the lake on the beach side of the fishing pier. I’m guessing this is an overwintering bird instead of an early migrant because of the date.
I also saw the 2 continuing female type Ruddy Ducks in the lake south of the Magic Hedge. They’re been in the same area for over a week so they must like that spot.
There were also several hundred gulls, mostly Ring-billeds, swarming over the open water at the west end of the harbor. I didn’t spend a lot of time looking through them so I could have missed something unusual. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, some kind of small fish are running in the harbor, which is what’s attracting the gulls.
I walked around Montrose for a little while this morning, December 3. My best find was the continuing female Long-tailed Duck in Lake Michigan near the tower at the southeast corner of the point. I haven’t seen her in a couple of days but I assume this is the same bird.
Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include 3 Ruddy Ducks in the lake outside of the harbor, 2 Horned Grebes inside the harbor, and a flyover Pine Siskin.
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.
Horned Grebes (click to see the larger version)
Horned Grebes have arrived on the Chicago Lake Michigan lakefront. This flotilla of 7 was off the end of the fishing pier at Montrose on November 2. The name for a group of grebes is pod, so this could be called a pod of Horned Grebes.