It’s late August and Elderberry fruit are ripening. A variety of birds eat the juicy berries, including several warblers, vireos, thrushes, and House Finches. To find the berries and the birds, look for clusters of small, purplish fruit on shrub-like plants. The photo accompanying this post shows what the berries look like. The stand of Elderberry at the edge of the woods at the far southeast corner of the Point has been excellent for birds this August.
The annual Chicago Air and Water Show is on the weekend of August 20 and 21 this year. Montrose Point is a great place to view the show, especially when the military jets are flying. As such, the event attracts large numbers of people to the Chicago lakefront. If you plan on birding Montrose on August 20 or 21, keep this in mind and try to get there early for parking.
We’re about a month from the peak of songbird migration but we’ve been seeing small numbers of warblers and flycatchers for a few weeks. This is typical and expected. Migration starts as a trickle and gradually gains momentum until the peak. Some of these early migrants include Least, Yellow-bellied and Olive-sided Flycatchers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Black-and-white Warblers among others. August is shorebird month but after you’re done checking the beach head up to the Magic Hedge for some early warblering.
The folks who manage Montrose Harbor got tired of dealing with all the pooping Canada Geese and Mallards that like to roost on one of the docks, so they brought in a Coyote decoy to scare them off. This is a type of non-lethal pest control and it’s been working. Humans can tell the Coyote is fake but waterfowl aren’t so discriminating and have been avoiding the dock since Coyote Cop went on patrol in late July.