Olive-sided Flycatcher (click to see the larger version)
Migration is still going on, although at a reduced rate. Just two weeks ago Montrose was overrun with warblers and other migrant passerines. Today I had only two obvious warbler migrants. This shows how fast spring migration winds down. Birds are in a hurry to get to their breeding grounds and they don’t linger long. Bonafide migrants I had at Montrose on June 4
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
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.
Continuing the trend starting last weekend, May 26 was excellent for flycatchers. I ended up with 9 species, including all 5 regularly occurring Empidonax. Best were an Olive-sided and an Acadian. Olive-sideds are uncommon but regular late spring migrants at Montrose, as are Acadians. Many of today’s Empis were silent, so I left them unidentified. We’re in the peak of migration for flycatchers, so don’t stop birding because the warblers have largely moved through. There’s always the chance of an uncommon or rare Tyrannid showing up – think Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, or better. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities. Take a look at the Montrose List page to see the impressive number of flycatchers recorded at Montrose. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
Ospreys over Montrose (click to see the larger version)
May 21 saw a big influx of flycatchers at Montrose. Every tree and shrub seemed to have at least a few Empidonax or Eastern Wood-Pewees, and small groups of Eastern Kingbirds were flying south over the Point in reverse migration. I ended up with 7 different flycatchers, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but we don’t see nearly as many flycatchers as we do warblers. Montrose is an excellent place to study the confusing Empidonax, particularly the look-alike Alder and Willow Flycatchers. I also tallied 16 species of warblers and a bonus pair of flyover Ospreys, so migration isn’t over yet. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
Cassin’s Kingbird . Photo by K. Kurylowicz. (click to see the larger version)
Krzysztof Kurylowicz found a Cassin’s Kingbird at Montrose on September 22. This is a first state record. The bird moved around a lot and could be difficult to see well, but a number of patient and persistent birders saw and photographed this extraordinary rarity. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay long and disappeared after a couple of hours. Obviously this is a new species for Montrose, number 346, as well as our 15th flycatcher. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below. More photos of the Cassin’s can be found there as well.
Western Kingbird. Photo by M. Ferguson. (click to see the larger version)
A Western Kingbird made an appearance at Montrose on September 4. The bird was hanging around the east end of the Point in the native planting area and enjoyed by many. Western Kingbirds are rare but regular (almost annual, actually) visitors to Montrose. Montrose is excellent for flycatchers, with 14 species recorded to date, including rarities such as Say’s Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.