Baird’s Sandpiper (click to see the larger version)
I wasn’t even going to bird this morning (November 4) because of rain in the forecast, but when I looked out my window at 7:30 I saw no rain, so I grabbed my gear and headed over to Montrose. I tallied a whopping 20 species for my effort, unimpressive even by early November standards. But, BUT, 25% of that tally consisted of good birds – Harlequin Duck (off the end of the fishing pier, found by Krzysztof Kurlyowicz), Black Scoter (2 flybys, found by Steve Huggins), Red-necked Grebe (flyby), Piping Plover, and Baird’s Sandpiper. The Baird’s (2 juveniles) represent one of the latest records of this species for Montrose, continuing the trend for late birds started by the Piping Plover.
The Red-necked Grebe was still in Montrose Harbor this morning, November 11. I saw it swimming among the starfloats on the west side of the harbor. A brief walk around the point also yielded one each of Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur, and Rusty Blackbird.
Red-necked Grebe at Montrose Harbor (click to see the larger version)
A Red-necked Grebe with a mostly gray neck was working the harbor mouth at Montrose this morning, March 26. This is the third or forth Red-necked Grebe reported from Montrose this spring. This has been the best spring for Red-necked Grebes in Illinois that I can remember.
Other birds seen at Montrose this a.m. include Greater and Lesser Scaup and Redheads in and around the harbor, several White-winged Scoters off the end of the fishhook pier, and Horned Grebes.