Tag Archives: Terns

Common Terns, September 8, 2019

Common Terns

Common Terns (click to see the larger version)

I had a great time watching and photographing a group of 3 juvenile Common Terns at Montrose Beach on September 8. The birds were flying along the beach and fishing pier, diving occasionally for fish. They even landed briefly on the fishing pier. Common Terns are uncommon terns anymore at Montrose, especially in the fall. More photos of these birds are at my eBird checklist for the day, link below.

eBird Checklist
September 8, 2019

The Sweet Season, May 9, 2019

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk. Photo by M. Ferguson (click to see the larger version)

The sweet season has commenced. Days like May 9 make suffering through Chicago winters worth it. I don’t know if the volume of birds was better than the fantastic weekend of May 4-5 but the variety certainly was. I tallied 95 species in about 3.5 hours of morning birding, my best spring total to date (according to eBird, over 120 species were reported). My highlights include 3 Black-bellied Plovers, Willet, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common and Forster’s Terns, a roosting Common Nighthawk, 5 woodpeckers, 19 species of warblers (Pine, Northern Parula, and Blue-winged being the best), and Clay-colored Sparrow. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56042131

Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Red-throated Loon, April 27, 2019

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull (click to see the larger version)

Lake Michigan was alive with birds this morning, April 27. Red-breasted Mergansers, Caspian Terns, and Double-crested Cormorants were conspicuous in their abundance. I didn’t see any unusual large shorebirds but I did have a pale third cycle type Iceland Gull on the beach and a second cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull flying around the fishing pier. Also, a late Red-throated Loon going north. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55463035

Caspian Terns, April 25, 2019

Caspian Terns

Caspian Terns (click to see the larger version)

Caspian Terns have invaded the Chicago lakefront in force. I counted over 300 at Montrose Beach on April 25, possibly the largest number of Caspian Terns I’ve ever recorded at Montrose. This group was taking a break in the fluddle on the beach. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55387672

Bonaparte’s Gulls, April 25, 2015

There was a lot of activity on the lake at Montrose this morning, April 25, including good numbers of Caspian Terns, Double-crested Cormorants, and Red-breasted Mergansers. More exciting were the Bonaparte’s Gulls. In about 45 minutes I estimate I had about 200 moving north past the point, and I only stopped looking when the rain started coming down in earnest. Bonaparte’s Gulls have become rare at Montrose in the spring, so seeing this many was a pleasant surprise. I also had a single Common Loon and White-winged Scoter and flocks of Lesser Scaup. Migrant landbirds were scarce, as would be expected with northeast winds.

Fourteen Species of Warblers, September 13, 2014

I spent a couple hours at Montrose this morning, September 13. Given the cold air and northwest winds I was expecting a great day but the birding was fair at best. I ended up with 14 species of warbler, the most common of which were Tennessee, Blackpoll, Palm, Magnolia, and American Redstart. Thrushes, flycatchers, and sparrows were scarce. Here’s my partial list:

Black-bellied Plover – 2
Semipalmated Plover – 1
Baird’s Sandpiper – 1
Sanderling – ~50
Black Tern – 1, the juvenile from yesterday. Seen early in the morning only.
Least Flycatcher – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – 2
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Warbling Vireo – 1, singing
Tree Swallow – 2
Barn Swallow – ~6
Purple Martin – 2
Cliff Swallow – ~20
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1, FOS
Swainson’s Thrush – 3
Tennessee Warbler – ~10
Nashville Warbler – ~5
Cape May Warbler – 1
Magnolia Warbler – ~12
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
Black-and-white Warbler – 2
Black-throated Green Warbler – 2
Blackpoll Warbler – ~8
Palm Warbler – ~12
Connecticut Warbler – 1
Wilson’s Warbler – ~5
Northern Waterthrush – 2
Common Yellowthroat – ~4
American Redstart – ~12
Savannah Sparrow – ~6
White-throated Sparrow – 2
Bobolink – 1

All of the swallows were seen together. They were feeding over and around the pine trees near the lake.