A male Red-winged Blackbird surprised me on February 15. It seems a little early for them, but Red-wingeds didn’t (and usually don’t) winter at Montrose, so this bird has to be a migrant. Along with Red-wings, other early spring passerine migrants we should start seeing in the next couple weeks include Horned Larks, Song Sparrows, and Eastern Meadowlarks. Waterfowl diversity will also pick up during this period. Check weather reports for warm fronts and south winds as these are the conditions that bring in spring migrants.
The adult Greater White-fronted Goose was still at Montrose this morning, October 16. I first saw it in the lake with Canada Geese south of the restrooms, and I saw it again with Canada Geese on the grass just east of the bait shop as I was driving out.
I also walked around the point for a little while and there seemed to be good numbers of passerines around, especially White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows. Some of the other birds I saw include:
Horned Grebe – 1
Red-tailed Hawk – 1, the continuing juvenile I presume
Black-belled Plover – 2 at the east end of the beach
Sanderling – ~8, all at the west end of the beach
Chimney Swift – ~300 swarming low over the point
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1 male
Horned Lark – 1 flyover at the beach
Winter Wren – 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – ~6
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 2
American Pipit – 1 flyover
Lapland Longspur – 1 flushed from the beach
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 5
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
American Tree Sparrow – 1, my FOS
Fox Sparrow – 1
Rusty Blackbird – 4, all in the dunes
Purple Finch – 2, 1 male and 1 female
Pine Siskin – 1
I had a Horned Lark fly in off of Lake Michigan this morning. This is just the second bona fide spring migrant passerine I’ve had at Montrose, the first being a Song Sparrow a couple of days ago. There were also 2 drake Greater Scaup in the lake and the Snow Goose continues in the harbor.
The forecast calls for a warmup by the end of the week. I can’t wait.
A Short-eared Owl, my first of the season, was at Montrose this morning. The bird flew in from the north over the beach and ended up in the meadow, where I last saw it. I also had Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and Horned Lark this a.m. There seemed to be good numbers of birds around. I wish I could have stayed longer. It was a beautiful, crisp October morning.