June is here and you should keep birding Montrose, at least for a week or two. Spring migration doesn’t come to a dead stop when May ends. Early June is an excellent time for flycatchers, cuckoos, and later warblers like Mourning and and Wilson’s. Also, shorebirds will continue to move through, and there’s always a chance something unusual will show up, like that Snowy Plover. As always, check the Montrose Point eBird Hotspot for the latest sightings.
Woody Goss found a Snowy Plover early on the morning of May 31 on the protected portion of Montrose Beach. It reappeared in the same place on June 3. This is about the 5th Snowy Plover record for Montrose and the second this year (the first was on April 23 and 24). More photos of the bird can be seen at my eBird checklist for the morning, URL below.
Snowy Plovers are normally found on the Gulf Coast and throughout the western and southwestern United States. They do vagrate regularly and show up far outside their usual range.
May 31, 2022
Late May is prime time for Connecticut Warblers at Montrose. We’ve had multiple sightings so far this spring. The best way to find them is to listen for their loud, distinctive song. Two were at Montrose on May 26, and both were located because they were singing. Good recordings of Connecticut Warbler songs are on YouTube.
Talk about fortuitous, and funny. Imani, the male Piping Plover and son of Monty and Rose, was feeding on the long fishing pier on May 26. This is common behavior for shorebirds at Montrose (Monty and Rose would do the same thing there). These shorebirds like to feed on the hordes of midges that gather on the pier. Easy pickings. When I saw Imani on the pier I walked out to look at and photograph him. I took lots of pics and the best one happened by accident when he walked across and stopped briefly on one of the “no diving” glyphs painted on the pier.
Rose and Monty are gone but if a female Piping Plover finds her way to Montrose, the cycle could start anew.
The forecast for May 19 and May 20 looks good for a push of birds, with warmer temps and sustained southwest winds, ideal spring migration conditions. We’re a little past the peak of migration but we should see an influx of flycatchers, vireos, cuckoos, and “later” warblers like Connecticut and Mourning. As always, check the Montrose Point eBird Hotspot for the latest sightings.
Monty died unexpectedly on May 13, 2022, thus ending the saga of Chicago’s first nesting Piping Plovers in over 50 years. The Dunes habitat is protected and intact, so perhaps another pair of Piping Plovers will find their way to Montrose and try to nest.