Tag Archives: Lark Sparrow

May 6, 2023 – A Good Day

May 6 lived up to the billing and turned out to be the best day of the spring so far. The persistent south winds brought in a lot of migrants, including many first of seasons. About 130 species were reported to eBird by all observers, which is about as good as we do. Sparrows were well represented, with many White-throated and White-crowned. Warbler variety was low, but it’s still early. My highlights for the morning include

Common Tern
Golden-crowned Kinglet (getting late)
Clay-colored Sparrow (3)
Lark Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (getting late)
Bobolink (3, all males)
Orchard Oriole
Black-throated Blue Warbler

We’re close to the peak of spring migration. The next couple weeks should see an increase in warbler, flycatcher, and Catharus thrush numbers. Keep checking weather forecasts for warm fronts, and keep checking the Montrose Point eBird Hotspot for the latest sightings.

May 5, 2018

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird (click to see the larger version)

The hit parade of spring migration wonderfulness continued today, May 5 at Montrose. I ended up with 101 species in 6 hours of birding, only the fifth time I’ve topped 100 species in a day at Montrose. Passerines were abundant, with White-crowned, White-throated, and Swamp Sparrows and Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers leading the way. There were also good numbers of Gray Catbirds and Swainson’s Thrushes. Interestingly, many of these birds were feeding in the tops of trees that were just leafing out, apparently on newly emerged midges. Shorebird variety, however, was low, which was surprising given the complete lack of dogs on the beach (thanks to CPD security) and the presence of a large fluddle on the public beach. The large number of people probably didn’t help (there were 2 major events at Montrose today). My highlights include

White-eyed Vireo – 1, feeding in the top of trees, a common theme today
All 6 regularly occurring swallows
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 1, getting late
20 species of warbler, the best being Prothonotary and Golden-winged. Only Yellow-rumped, Palm, Northern Waterthrush, and Ovenbird were common however
Clay-colored Sparrow – 2
Lark Sparrow – 1
Yellow-breasted Chat – 1
Yellow-headed Blackbird – 1
Orchard Oriole – 2

eBird Checklist

Blue Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow, and Clay-colored Sparrow, May 1, 2017

I spent about 3.5 hours at Montrose this morning, May 1, and it was worth just about every minute. Passerines were in in good numbers; I had a number of goodies and FOSs. Shorebirds, however, were disappointing. I woke up extra early and made it the beach just before sunrise, but all I could muster were a few Spotted Sandpipers, probably the nesting birds, and a couple Killdeer, again probably the local breeding birds. I ended up with 78 species, highlighted by

Virginia Rail – 1 in the eastern panne
Sora – 3
Forster’s Tern – ~60, strong movement
Merlin – 1
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Kingbird – 5
All 5 regularly occurring swallows
Sedge Wren – 1 singing in the eastern panne
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 1
Wood Thrush – 2
Veery – 1
11 species of warblers, Blue-winged being the best
Clay-colored Sparrow – 1, thanks Phil
Lark Sparrow – 1
Blue Grosbeak – 1 immature male
Bobolink – 1

Bird of the day goes to the immature male Blue Grosbeak. I’ve only seen 2 or 3 BLGR at Montrose in my 35+ years birding there, so I was fairly excited. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist

May 10, 2014

I spent a few hours at Montrose this morning. It wasn’t as active as May 8 but I still ended up with 86 species, and I had almost 20(!) birds today that I didn’t see on Thursday. Here are my highlights:

Mute Swan – 3 flew in from the south and landed in the lake just off the beach
Northern Shoveler – 3 flying north over the lake
White-winged Scoter – 1 in the lake off the fishhook pier
Red-breasted Merganser – 11
Great Egret – 11, including a group of 8, all flying south
Northern Harrier – 1 immature flying south high over the point
Ruddy Turnstone – 2 on the beach
Laughing Gull – 1 adult flying south over the fishhook pier
Common Tern – 3
Red-headed Woodpecker – 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1 female
Yellow-throated Vireo – 1
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
All 5 swallows, with most of the Cliffs and Banks moving south
Marsh Wren – 1
Northern Mockingbird – 1
Blue-winged Warbler – 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 male
Blackburnian Warbler – 1
Mourning Warbler – 1
Scarlet Tanager – 1 male, flew in off the lake and landed in the dunes
Lark Sparrow – 1, flew in off the lake and landed in the dunes
Dickcissel – 1 singing male

There seemed to be a fair amount of turnover between today and Thursday, with fewer White-crowned Sparrows, Catharus thrushes, Gray Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, Eastern Kingbirds, and Least Flycatchers today. Warblers are still scant.

Whimbrels and Lark Sparrow, August 22, 2013

Two Whimbrels flew over the east end of Montrose Beach this morning. This was about 6:30. They continued southeast over Lake Michigan and didn’t act like they were going to stop or come back. This is prime time for Whimbrels along Lake Michigan.

Other birds seen at Montrose Beach this a.m. include 9 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Baird’s Sandpipers, a Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Sanderlings, single Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a group of about 8 Forster’s Terns.

I went back out in the afternoon and had a Lark Sparrow in the native planting area near the tower. This was most unexpected as Lark Sparrows are very rare at Montrose in the summer and fall.