Here we are, almost two full weeks into June, and we’re still getting a trickle of migrants. Avian activity is dominated by the local breeding birds, but these bona fide migrants were at Montrose on June 13
What’s interesting is that the first southbound summer migrants will be showing up in just a few weeks. There almost isn’t a time when birds aren’t moving in one direction or the other, and Montrose Point is one of the best places to witness this near overlap in migrations.
May 19 will go down as the best day for migration in 2023. Montrose was full of warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers. It was also full of birders. Over 140 species were reported to eBird by all observers, and several people topped 100, which only happens a couple times each year. My highlights include
Clay-colored Sparrow (click to see the larger version)
Saturday, May 13 qualified as a fallout given the volume of warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and other passerine migrants present. Over 140 species were reported to eBird by all observers. The rain, north winds, and temperatures in the 50s didn’t slow down the birds or the birders. My highlights include
An impressive flight of shorebirds took place on the morning of July 24. These birds were probably grounded by the rain that lasted most of the early morning, and may have been moving ahead of an approaching cold front, as migrating summer shorebirds often do. My list includes
White-rumped and Semipalmated Sandpipers (click to see the larger version)
This isn’t the best photo, and I had to enhance it a bit in Photoshop, but these 2 molting adult White-rumped Sandpipers (with 2 juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers) were part of a nice mix of shorebirds at Montrose Beach on September 1. Stilt Sandpipers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, a Ruddy Turnstone were also seen. White-rumped Sandpipers are rare but regular fall migrants at Montrose. Unfortunately, most of these birds were present only early in the morning. I ended up with 48 species in a little over 2 hours of birding. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.
I spent a little over an hour at Montrose Beach this morning, hoping for large shorebirds, especially the kind with long recurved or decurved bills. The only shorebirds I saw were a flyby Ruddy Turnstone, a couple Semipalmated Plovers, a Spotted Sandpiper, and a few Sanderlings. The morning wasn’t a complete bust however. Around dawn a Merlin flew in off the lake with something in its talons. This is my first Merlin of the season at Montrose. I also had about 15 adult Common Terns fly south over the beach. They were coming by in small groups and never landed. A juvenile Forster’s Tern made an appearance too.