Tag Archives: Thrushes

Still Going, June 1, 2019

Just because the calendar says it’s June doesn’t mean migration comes to a screeching halt. Early June can be good for shorebirds, flycatchers, late warblers, and other stragglers, and Montrose is a great place to see this late spring migration. Such was the case on June 1. I tallied 64 species in 3 hours of morning birding. My highlights include

Dunlin
Semipalmated Sandpiper (4)
Sanderling (5)
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (4)
Alder Flycatcher (2)
Willow Flycatcher
Blue Jay (20)
Swainson’s Thrush (4)
12 species of warblers, including Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white, Mourning, Connecticut, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Canada, and Wilson’s

Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56957065

Harlequin Duck, Piping Plover, and Swainson’s Thrush, November 8, 2018

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck (click to see the larger version)

I spent a couple hours at Montrose on Thursday, November 8. The female type Harlequin Duck was inside the fishing pier and the Piping Plover continues on the beach. The Plover has been present for 3 weeks now. My best passerine was a very late Swainson’s Thrush near the Magic Hedge. A strange mix of birds for November. I ended up with 43 species for my effort. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49754515

Montrose Unleashed, Part II, May 1, 2018

Franklin's Gull

Franklin’s Gull (click to see the larger version)

I took today off in anticipation of what I expected to be a great day of birding at Montrose Point in Chicago. It was fantastic, exceeding even my own optimistic expectations. The southwest winds brought in a ton of migrants – I’ve lost track of all the FOS’s I snatched up today. A review of eBird reports from Montrose shows about 125 species reported from about 20 submissions. This will probably go down as one of the best days this spring. My highlights include

Baird’s Sandpiper – Probably the same bird from yesterday. A very good spring bird for us.
Willet – 2
Franklin’s Gull – Older immature bird on the beach
All 6 regularly occurring swallows
All Catharus thrushes plus Wood Thrush. Excellent numbers of Swainson’s Thrushes.
19 species of warblers highlighted by Pine, Hooded, Blackpoll, Chestnut-sided, and Blackburnian
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Le Conte’s Sparrow – 1
Dickcissel – 1
Bobolink – 1
Orchard Oriole – 1
Rusty Blackbird – 1

I ended up with 102 species for the day, only the fourth time I’ve cracked the century mark at Montrose in the 30+ years of been birding the place.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45143092

Piping Plover and Swainson’s Thrush, July 23, 2017

Piping Plover

Piping Plover (click to see the larger version)

A banded juvenile Piping Plover has been hanging around Montrose Beach for a few days. This morning I saw it in the fluddle on the public beach (fluddles are pools of water that form after heavy rains and are attractive to migrating shorebirds). As of this post, the source location of this bird has not been determined. Several banded Piping Plovers that have appeared on the Illinois Lake Michigan lakefront in the past have been traced to the population from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan. Perhaps that is where this bird is from. After the plover, my next best bird was an early Swainson’s Thrush, a portent of things to come in a few weeks. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38277722

May 16, 2017 – As Good As It Gets

I took the day off today, May 16, in anticipation of the south winds and expected bird bonanza at Montrose. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve been birding Montrose for 35 years and I’ve had some great days there, but I can say that today was the best day I’ve ever had, and I can back that claim up with numbers. I ended up with 110 species in about 9 hours of birding (split over morning and afternoon visits), besting my previous personal high by 7 species. Passerines were the highlight, with good numbers of warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers. I also picked up several bonus birds that helped pad my total. My highlights include

Osprey – 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
Red-headed Woodpecker – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 3
Willow Flycatcher – 2
Blue-headed Vireo – 1
Philadelphia Vireo – 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Eastern Bluebird – 2
Veery – 8
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 6
Swainson’s Thrush – 20
Wood Thrush – 1
Northern Mockingbird – 1
American Pipit – 1
26 species of warblers, including
Orange-crowned Warbler – 1
Connecticut Warbler – 2
Mourning Warbler – 2
Hooded Warbler – 2
Northern Parula – 1
Bay-breasted Warbler – 10
Blackburnian Warbler – 5
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Canada Warbler – 4
Dickcissel – 1
Bobolink – 1

According to eBird, 128 species total were seen at Montrose today, which I’m guessing is a single day high count for us. Yes, it was that good. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36908718

Blue Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow, and Clay-colored Sparrow, May 1, 2017

I spent about 3.5 hours at Montrose this morning, May 1, and it was worth just about every minute. Passerines were in in good numbers; I had a number of goodies and FOSs. Shorebirds, however, were disappointing. I woke up extra early and made it the beach just before sunrise, but all I could muster were a few Spotted Sandpipers, probably the nesting birds, and a couple Killdeer, again probably the local breeding birds. I ended up with 78 species, highlighted by

Virginia Rail – 1 in the eastern panne
Sora – 3
Forster’s Tern – ~60, strong movement
Merlin – 1
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Kingbird – 5
All 5 regularly occurring swallows
Sedge Wren – 1 singing in the eastern panne
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 1
Wood Thrush – 2
Veery – 1
11 species of warblers, Blue-winged being the best
Clay-colored Sparrow – 1, thanks Phil
Lark Sparrow – 1
Blue Grosbeak – 1 immature male
Bobolink – 1

Bird of the day goes to the immature male Blue Grosbeak. I’ve only seen 2 or 3 BLGR at Montrose in my 35+ years birding there, so I was fairly excited. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36453350