Tag Archives: American Avocet

October 13, 2021 – Peregrine Falcons and More

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon (click to see the larger version)

It was a Peregrine kind of day at Montrose on October 13. This juvenile perched obligingly in a snag long enough to have its picture taken. We also had an adult Peregrine, which knocked a poor migrating Winter Wren out of the sky and into Lake Michigan.

The Peregrine Falcons weren’t the only highlight. October 13 was one of the best days of the fall at Montrose for passerine migration, with lots of Swamp Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and kinglets. Bonus birds include American Avocet and three Franklin’s Gulls. I ended up with 52 species for the morning. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
October 13, 2021

American Avocets, October 11, 2021

American Avocets

American Avocets (click to see the larger version)

American Avocets are strange birds. At Montrose, we see them from late April to early November and every month between. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to this pattern – they show up when they show up. The only other shorebird with such a broad range of temporal occurrence is Killdeer. These four American Avocets graced Montrose Beach on October 11. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
October 11, 2021

June 1, 2021 – Still Going

American Avocets

American Avocets working the western panne in the Dunes (click to see the larger version)

Just because May has ended doesn’t mean migration comes to a screeching halt. The following are just some of the bonafide migrants I saw at Montrose on June 1

American Avocet
Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Mourning Warbler
Canada Warbler
Dickcissel

I ended up with 60 species in about 3 hours of birding. The first week in June isn’t as frenetic as mid-May but is still worth birding, and Montrose tends to hold migrants later in spring migration than most other places. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
June 1, 2021

September 5, 2020 – A Good Day

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture (click to see the larger version)

Today was the best day of the fall for me. I ended up with 53 species in about 3 hours of birding, with good numbers of passerines, especially warblers and Catharus thrushes. Highlights include Connecticut and 2 Golden-winged Warblers (10 warbler species total), Bobolink, Dickcissel, the continuing American Avocet, and a surprise Turkey Vulture. TVs aren’t rare at Montrose but we don’t see a lot of them. Shorebirds were skimpy, mainly because the fluddle has dried up. I also had impressive numbers of aerial insectivores, mostly Chimney Swifts and Barn Swallows, a few bonus Cliff Swallows, and what seemed like thousands of buzzing dragonflies. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.

eBird Checklist
September 5, 2020

American Golden-Plovers (and others), September 3, 2020

American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover (click to see the larger version)

We had a nice variety of shorebirds at Montrose Beach on September 3, highlighted by a pair of adult American Golden-Plovers, an adult Baird’s Sandpiper, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, and an American Avocet. The fluddle briefly reformed on the public beach after overnight rains, providing valuable habitat. These birds were probably moving ahead of a cold front expected to pass later in the day. Checking the beach throughout the day could pay off. More photos are at my eBird checklist for the morning, URL below.

eBird Checklist
September 3, 2020

American Avocets, September 1, 2020

American Avocets

American Avocets (click to see the larger version)

Continuing the uncommon shorebird theme from this summer, 2 American Avocets were on the public beach on September 1 (the public beach is the portion of the beach west of and outside the Dunes, which are fenced off and protected). These are the first American Avocets recorded at Montrose since late June. By September of 2019, we had 3 sightings, 2 in July and 1 in August.

On a related note, the fluddle has disappeared. The fluddle is the pool of water on the beach that shorebirds use for feeding and resting. Without the fluddle we won’t see as great a variety of shorebirds this fall. The good news is that the fluddle reforms after heavy rain or when strong northeast winds push water onto the beach.

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