Tag Archives: Northern Parula

May 13, 2023 – A Fantastic Day

Clay-colored Sparrow

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

Saturday, May 13 qualified as a fallout given the volume of warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and other passerine migrants present. Over 140 species were reported to eBird by all observers. The rain, north winds, and temperatures in the 50s didn’t slow down the birds or the birders. My highlights include

Ruddy Turnstone
Common Tern (14)
Common Loon (getting late)
Yellow-throated Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Clay-colored Sparrow (2)
Orchard Oriole (4)
22 warblers
Golden-winged Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Northern Parula
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager (4)
Dickcissel (3)

We’re at the peak of spring migration; birding will be productive for the next 2 to 3 weeks. This is the time to call in sick or take those personal days off.

May 12, 2022 – Warblers

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler (click to see the larger version)

Continuing the migration splendor for the week, Thursday, May 12 was the best warbler day of the spring at Montrose. I ended up with 26 species, which is about as good as we do. If you were at Montrose on that day you couldn’t help but be impressed with the volume and variety of warblers. My best finds include

Worm-eating Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler (3)
Northern Parula (3)
Mourning Warbler
Canada Warbler

Of the regularly occurring warblers, Worm-eating is the rarest and least expected. In addition, the large numbers of Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, and Blackburnian were a joy to look at. We wait all year for a handful of days with color like this. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
May 12, 2022

September 7, 2021

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher (click to see the larger version)

I spent about three hours birding Montrose on September 7 and it was time well spent. I tallied 51 species for my effort and saw a number of personal first of season birds. According to eBird, almost 80 species were recorded by all observers. Swainson’s Thrushes have arrived and they seemed to be everywhere. The dogwood north of the Magic Hedge and the cherry trees in the meadow were flush with them. My highlights include

Baird’s Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Black-billed Cuckoo
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Northern Parula

Additionally, swarms of Chimney Swifts were moving south over the Point. I estimated 600 but that total is likely conservative. Link to my eBIrd checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist
September 7, 2021

April 24, 2021 – Quite the Day

The forecast for April 24 called for rain, so I planned on spending the day inside doing chores and such. When I woke up and checked the news, the forecast indicated most of the rain would occur south of Chicago, so I headed over to Montrose for some late April birding. Good choice as it turned out to be the best day of the spring so far. The trees and shrubs were dripping with Swamp and White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Many of these birds were in the tops of trees feasting on swarms of small insects. I ended up with 66 species in almost four hours, and about 80 species were reported to eBird by all observers. I had multiple personal first-of-spring sightings. My highlights include

Willet – 3
White-faced Ibis – 1, first site record
Long-eared Owl – 1
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Northern Parula – 1
Pine Warbler – 1

The White-faced Ibis was on the protected beach early in the morning. It did not stay long. We’ve had multiple Long-eared Owls in the last week in what has been one of the best springs I can remember for them. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.

eBird Checklist
April 24, 2021

The Sweet Season, May 9, 2019

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk. Photo by M. Ferguson (click to see the larger version)

The sweet season has commenced. Days like May 9 make suffering through Chicago winters worth it. I don’t know if the volume of birds was better than the fantastic weekend of May 4-5 but the variety certainly was. I tallied 95 species in about 3.5 hours of morning birding, my best spring total to date (according to eBird, over 120 species were reported). My highlights include 3 Black-bellied Plovers, Willet, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common and Forster’s Terns, a roosting Common Nighthawk, 5 woodpeckers, 19 species of warblers (Pine, Northern Parula, and Blue-winged being the best), and Clay-colored Sparrow. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist

May 14, 2013 – South Winds Rock!

Montrose was fairly busy this morning. Obviously last night’s south winds brought in some birds. There were good numbers of Savannah and White-crowned Sparrows and a notable influx of American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats. Overall warbler numbers and diversity were low though. Here’s some of what I saw in about an hour and a half:

Common Tern – 3
Green Heron – 1
Turkey Vulture – 1 flying south. A good bird for Montrose in the spring.
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1, a good bird for Montrose at anytime
Eastern Wood-Pewee – ~6
Least Flycatcher – 3
Alder/Willow Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Kingbird – ~6
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – 1
Warbling Vireo – 1
Marsh Wren – 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2
Wood Thrush – 1
Veery – 2
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 1
Swainson’s Thrush – 2
Gray Catbird – ~20
American Pipit – 1
Cedar Waxwing – ~12
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 1
Nashville Warbler – 2
Northern Parula – 1
Cape May Warbler – 1
Magnolia Warbler – ~5
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
Black-and-white Warbler – 3
Blackburnian Warbler – 1
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – 2
Wilson’s Warbler – 1
Northern Waterthrush – 2
Common Yellowthroat – ~15
American Redtstart – ~15
Scarlet Tanager – 1
Clay-colored Sparrow – 1
Savannah Sparrow – 50-100, everywhere, in the dunes, in the meadow, in treetops
Lincoln’s Sparrow – ~10
Swamp Sparrow – ~20
White-crowned Sparrow – ~75
White-throated Sparrow – ~15
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 3
Indigo Bunting – 1
Bobolink – 3
Orchard Oriole – 1