Tag Archives: Terns

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.

Black Tern, September 12, 2014

Black Tern

Black Tern (click to see the larger version)

I had a juvenile Black Tern at Montrose Beach this afternoon, September 12. The bird was standing on the beach a couple hundred yards west of the protected area. Black Terns are rare at Montrose and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one standing on the beach. I also had about 50 Sanderlings, 3 Black-bellied Plovers, and a Spotted Sandpiper.

September 1, 2014

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.

Common Tern, July 3, 2014

Common Tern

Common Tern (click to see the larger version)

An immature Common Tern was at Montrose Beach on July 2 and 3. The bird is probably in its second calendar year and can be identified as a Common Tern by the dark feathering on the leading edge of the inner wing (the so-called carpal bar) and the dark red base to the bill. Common Terns are very unusual at Montrose at this time of the year.