Tag Archives: Lincoln’s Sparrow

December 31, 2020

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk (click to see the larger version)

I walked over to Montrose on December 31 for some end of year birding. It looked and felt like winter, with an inch of crusty snow on the ground and icy paths that made walking challenging in places. The winds were light and it wasn’t too cold, however, so the experience was pleasant for the season. I ended up with a respectable 22 species, the best being the continuing Lincoln’s Sparrow in the Magic Hedge. This is significant because Lincoln’s Sparrows don’t usually winter in Chicago. A thin veneer of ice was developing in Montrose Harbor, a portent of things to come. Lake Michigan was still ice-free, and on it were numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Goldeneye, two of our common wintering waterfowl (Common Merganser is the other). The local band of Black-capped Chickadees are in full begging mode; if you offer crushed peanuts or birdseed, the bolder ones will come in and take the morsels from your open hand. I also saw a couple of Cooper’s Hawks, including a close encounter with a perched adult.

Note that Montrose is closed to entry by car; if you drive you’ll have to park west of Lake Shore Drive and walk in. This won’t be onerous if the weather is decent but watch your footing. See the Montrose FAQ page for updated information about visiting the park.

eBird Checklist
December 31, 2020

Long-tailed Duck, October 28, 2020

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck (click to see the larger version)

A female Long-tailed Duck has been hanging around the fishing pier at Montrose for the last few days. On October 28 I saw her near the end of the pier on the Lake Michigan side. Long-tailed Ducks are uncommon but regular late fall through early spring visitors to Montrose.

October 28 was an interesting day with a nice mix of birds. I ended up with 49 species for about 2 hours of effort, and 60 species were reported to eBird for the day. Some of my highlights include

White-winged Scoter – 1
Dunlin – 2
Greater Yellowlegs – 1
Bonaparte’s Gull – 6
Great Egret – 1, getting late
Gray Catbird – 1, getting late
Snow Bunting – 3
Vesper Sparrow – 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1, getting late

Link to my eBird checklist for October 28 below, which includes more photos of the Long-tailed Duck and a few other birds.

eBird Checklist
October 28, 2020

May 29, 2013 – Still Going

Montrose was fairly birdy this morning, especially for Empidonax flycatchers, American Redstarts, and Common Yellowthroats. Here’s some of what I saw in about an hour and a half:

Lesser Scaup – 1 male in Lake Michigan just off the beach
Horned Grebe – 1 in full breeding plumage just off the beach
Semipalmated Sandpiper – ~50
Pectoral Sandpiper – 1
Semipalmated Plover – 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1 seen and heard giving the “rain crow” call
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1
Olive-sided Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee – ~5
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 6
Least Flycatcher – 3
Willow Flycatcher – 3
Willow/Alder Flycatcher – ~4
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Blue Jay – ~40 migrating west
Swainson’s Thrush – 3
Veery – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
Cape May Warbler – 1
Magnolia Warbler – ~4
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 female
Canada Warbler – 3
Wilson’s Warbler – ~6
Ovenbird – 1
Common Yellowthroat – ~15
American Redstart – ~15
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
White-throated Sparrow – 1
Orchard Oriole – 1