Tag Archives: Mimids

Check That Dogwood, Early September 2021


Dogwood at The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary (click to see the larger version)

The dogwood just north of the north end of the Magic Hedge has been a hotspot for a variety of passerines this early fall. Birds I’ve seen feasting on its fruit include Gray Catbird, Swainson’s Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, and Eastern Kingbird. As of early September, the shrub has abundant berries, so it should be productive for a few weeks. Look for the clusters of pea-sized white berries to find it (as far as I know, this is the only dogwood in the sanctuary). The best approach for birding it is to stand quietly 15 to 20 feet in front of it. Patience and determination are needed to pick birds out in the thick foliage.

Curve-billed Thrasher and Clay-colored Sparrow, June 29, 2014

The Curve-billed Thrasher was still at Montrose early this morning, June 29. I was near the north end of the Magic Hedge when I noticed Geoff Williamson looking at and then pointing to something. I assumed he had the thrasher and when I got closer I could see the bird perched near the top of a Jack Pine. The thrasher posed obligingly for a minute or 2 before flying about 50 yards to the east and disappearing into the underbrush. I didn’t follow it but I assume it’s still in the area.

Clay-colored Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow (click to see the larger version)

Geoff also alerted me to a Clay-colored Sparrow he heard singing near the Park Bait Shop while driving in. I went over to the area and after a little poking around found the Clay-colored in the group of small evergreens just across the road from the Park Bait Shop. This is a very unusual sighting as Clay-colored Sparrows don’t normally occur at Montrose in late June.

June 18, 2014

The Curve-billed Thrasher was obviously the big story at Montrose today but there were a few other birds of interest. Late this afternoon I had 6 Semipalmated and 1 White-rumped Sandpiper inside the protected area at the east end of the beach. This might be the latest spring White-rumped I’ve ever seen. Also, the continuing female Red-breasted Merganser was inside the harbor.

Curve-billed Thrasher, June 18, 2014

Curve-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher. Photo by Nathan Goldberg. (click to see the larger version)

Montrose regular Luiz Munoz found a Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) near the Magic Hedge on Wednesday, June 18. The bird was seen and photographed by many, and as of June 22 is still present. Curve-billed Thrashers are normally found in the southwest United States and northern Mexico, though they do wander and there are extralimital records for several Midwestern states. This is just the second Illinois record of this species, the first coming from Rend Lake in December, 1992, as well as the 338th species recorded from Montrose.

To see a list of the birds that have been recorded at Montrose, please refer to the Birds Recorded at the Montrose Point Area in Chicago page.

May 26, 2014

Montrose was very good this morning. I ended up with 16 species of warblers and there were good numbers of flycatchers too. I also had a few bonus birds. Here are my highlights:

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – ~5 and very vocal
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee – ~12
Alder Flycatcher – ~10
Willow Flycatcher – 3
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 1
Least Flycatcher – 1
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Bluebird – 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 1
Veery – 1
Swainson’s Thrush – ~5
Northern Mockingbird – 1 in the dunes
Tennessee Warbler – 3
Northern Parula – 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler – 3
Magnolia Warbler – ~6
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 female
Blackburnian Warbler – 1 female
Palm Warbler – 1
Bay-breasted Warbler – 1 female
Blackpoll Warbler – 3
American Redstart – ~25
Mourning Warbler – ~5
Connecticut Warbler – 1 female
Canada Warbler – ~8
Wilson’s Warbler – ~6
Savannah Sparrow – ~15
Nelson’s Sparrow – 1 in the dunes
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1
Swamp Sparrow – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 1
Meadowlark sp. – 1
Bobolink – 2, male and female

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.