Snow Goose (click to see the larger version)
With morning temps in the teens and a wind chill even colder, today felt more like January than early March. I ended up with 23 species in about an hour and half of birding, highlighted by the continuing blue morph Snow Goose and White-winged Scoter, and a bonus adult Iceland Gull in the harbor. There were also good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbor and in the lake just outside of the harbor mouth. I did not see the female Long-tailed Duck, which didn’t appear to be doing well when last seen. Link to my eBird checklist below.
I was surprised to see 4 Snowy Owls at Montrose this morning. I thought most had left but it appears more came in to replace them. Two were on the fishing pier, one was on the ice shelf at the west end of the beach, and the other was flying south over the point, almost like it was migrating. I also saw an adult or near adult Glaucous Gull flying north, the Snow Goose in the harbor, and 4 Snow Buntings and a single Lapland Longspur on the beach.
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.
I had a third or fourth cycle Great Black-backed Gull this morning. The bird flew in from the north, circled a couple of times near the harbor and continued south. Great Black-backed Gulls are very uncommon visitors to Montrose. I also saw the Snow Goose in the still frozen over harbor.
Snow Goose (click to see a larger version)
The Ross’s and Snow Geese were still present this morning. They were feeding in the grass just south of the parking lot near the bathrooms on the south side of the harbor. The Ross’s Goose has been present for almost 2 weeks now.
I also saw 2 Killdeer at the east end of the beach, my first of the year, and a sure harbinger of spring. Most of the beach is still covered with ice and snow so it was a bit strange (though not unappreciated) to see these shorebirds there.
The long staying Ross’s Goose was resting on the ice with Canada Geese inside Montrose Harbor this morning. A light morph Snow Goose was also with the Canada Geese.