Tag Archives: Whimbrel

Summer Shorebirds

Sanderling

Sanderling (click to see the larger version)

Shorebirds have been moving south at Montrose since late June. This is typical. The first birds are invariably adult Least Sandpipers (adult shorebirds precede their offspring). It’s hard to believe they have enough time to breed before starting migration again. The earliest southbound migrants almost overlap in time with the last northbound spring migrants! Montrose Beach serves as a convenient stopover for feeding and resting. The public part of the beach is often flooded in summer and migrant shorebirds like to break there and fuel up before continuing their journey. Some of the more unusual birds we’ve seen this summer include Whimbrel, Red Knot, Western Sandpiper, and White-rumped Sandpiper. Montrose doesn’t get huge numbers of shorebirds but the ones we do get we usually see well.

Monty and Rose

Also on the shorebird front, our celebrity Piping Plovers Monty and Rose returned in 2020 and nested again. This year they set up in the Dunes among the thick beach grass, which made monitoring challenging. They successfully raised 3 young, and unlike last year’s brood, fish and wildlife officials banded all 3. The young were also given names — Hazel, Esperanza, and Nish. The family departed by mid-August.

For more information about shorebirds at Montrose, see the Shorebirds section on the What to See page.

Whimbrels, Piping Plover, Hooded Warbler, and More, May 2, 2019

Piping Plover

Piping Plover (click to see the larger version)

Miserable weather often means fantastic birding at Montrose. Such was the case on May 2. The temperature never got out of the 40s, drizzle was a constant companion, and it started raining before I left. Parka and Polartec weather in May. I tallied 79 species in 3.5 hours, my best day of the spring so far, highlighted by 2 Whimbrels, 8 Willets, a Piping Plover, and 13 species of warblers, including Pine, Hooded, and Blue-winged. I also had a number of new birds for the year. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S55669480

Whimbrel, May 19, 2016

Whimbrel

Whimbrel (click to see the larger version)

I had a Whimbrel at Montrose Beach late this afternoon, May 19. The bird was about 200 yards west of the protected area on the north shore of “Lake Montrose”, the large pool of water on the beach. This is prime time for spring Whimbrels on Lake Michigan and Montrose Beach is one of the better places to see them in Illinois.

Whimbrel, September 24, 2015

Whimbrel

Whimbrel (click to see the larger version)

A juvenile Whimbrel was at Montrose Dunes this evening, September 24. The bird spent a couple hours in the dunes, mostly in the southeast corner. This is the latest Whimbrel I’ve seen at Montrose and possibly the latest I’ve seen in the Midwest. The peak for fall Whimbrel migration on the west side of Lake Michigan is around Labor Day.

Whimbrels and Lark Sparrow, August 22, 2013

Two Whimbrels flew over the east end of Montrose Beach this morning. This was about 6:30. They continued southeast over Lake Michigan and didn’t act like they were going to stop or come back. This is prime time for Whimbrels along Lake Michigan.

Other birds seen at Montrose Beach this a.m. include 9 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Baird’s Sandpipers, a Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Sanderlings, single Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a group of about 8 Forster’s Terns.

I went back out in the afternoon and had a Lark Sparrow in the native planting area near the tower. This was most unexpected as Lark Sparrows are very rare at Montrose in the summer and fall.