Le Conte’s Sparrow. Photo by Alex Bloss. (click to see the larger version)
Montrose was fairly active this morning, October 19, with a noticeable influx of Golden-crowned Kinglets and Swamp Sparrows, and a noticeable decrease in Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers. I ended up with 43 species in about 1 hour and 45 minutes of birding. Best were a Le Conte’s Sparrow, my first for the year, and 2 Sedge Wrens. The Le Conte’s and wrens were in the Dunes. Link to eBird checklist below.
Montrose wasn’t quite as busy this morning, October 8, as I had hoped. I thought yesterday’s cold front and last night’s northwest winds would translate into the best birding day this fall. Still, it wasn’t bad (admittedly, October doesn’t do bad easily) and I ended up with 61 species in 4.5 hours of birding, which ties my September 24 count for my best day this fall. Noteworthy finds include a late Caspian Tern, a single Nelson’s Sparrow, Sedge Wren, multiple Marsh Wrens, Blue-headed Vireo, and 7 species of warblers. The kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and White-throated Sparrows were fun too. There were also good numbers of Monarchs around. Link to eBird checklist below.
Another great day at Montrose, another day with boatloads of Nelson’s Sparrows, and another day I wish I could have spent the whole morning birding the lakefront. I ended up with 59 species in 2 hours today, September 27. Highlights include Merlin, 2 Northern Harriers, 2 early Common Loons, 3 Marsh Wrens, a Sedge Wren, 14 species of warblers, 2 Bobolinks, and a whopping 25-30 Nelson’s Sparrows. I think this is my highest count for Nelson’s ever, anywhere. Like yesterday, most of today’s Nelson’s were in the western panne. Link to eBird checklist below.
Eastern Whip-poor-will (click to see the larger version)
I spent almost 4 hours at Montrose this morning, September 24. I didn’t have high hopes because of the east winds but it turned out to be a good day. I ended up with 61 species, my best count this fall so far. Highlights include Osprey, Eastern Whip-poor-will (see photo), Wood Thrush, Clay-colored Sparrow, Sedge Wren, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. Link to eBird checklist below.
Black-billed Cuckoo (click to see the larger version)
Montrose was excellent this morning, May 24, with a notable influx of flycatchers, later warblers, female warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Red-eyed Vireos. I ended up with 81 species in about 2.5 hours, including 19 species of warblers. It was hands down the best day of the spring for me for passerines. My highlights include:
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee – 25
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 3
Alder Flycatcher – 8
Willow Flycatcher – 6
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Sedge Wren – 1, the continuing bird in the Meadow
Swainson’s Thrush – 40
Worm-eating Warbler – 1, the continuing bird. Seen and heard singing in
the bushes near the water feature.
Mourning Warbler – 10
Northern Parula – 1
Bay-breasted Warbler – 5
Blackburnian Warbler – 10
Blackpoll Warbler – 25, many females
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1
Black-throated Green Warbler – 10
Canada Warbler – 12
Wilson’s Warbler – 15
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Dickcissel – 1
Bobolink – 1
Orchard Oriole – 1
Tis’ the season for Short-eared Owls at Montrose. This morning I kicked one up out of the western panne in the dunes. The bird flew out over the lake and circled around a few times before I walked away and lost sight of it. This is typical Short-eared Owl behavior at Montrose, and sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t.
Migration is really winding down, especially passerine migration, but I did have a few other birds, including: