Tag Archives: Rusty Blackbird

Cattle Egret and Franklin’s Gulls, November 8, 2016

Montrose was surprisingly birdy this morning, November 8, with several unexpected finds. I ended up with 35 species in about 1.5 hours of birding, which isn’t too shabby considering the date. Best were a Cattle Egret and 5 Franklin’s Gulls. The egret was flying around the beach and Dunes early in the morning. I think it landed briefly on the beach, but was flying north over Lake Michigan the last time I saw it. Cattle Egret is an unusual bird for Montrose; we don’t see them every year. This has been a good fall for them in the upper Midwest, so maybe this sighting shouldn’t have been surprising.

Three of the 5 Franklin’s Gulls were at the west end of the beach early in the morning and were still there when I left. The other 2 were flybys. This hasn’t been a good fall for Franklin’s Gulls along the Lake Michigan lakefront, probably because we haven’t had many storms with strong west winds. Link to eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32431763

October 1, 2016

I spent about an hour and a half at Montrose this morning, October 1. I would have stayed longer but when the rain started in earnest around 8:30 I called it quits. Birding while wet isn’t an enjoyable experience, even when there are birds to look at. I ended up with 47 species, highlights and link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

Merlin – 1
Osprey – 1
Pine Warbler – 1
Northern Parula – 1
Blue-headed Vireo – 1, FOS for me
Nelson’s Sparrow – 1
Marsh Wren – 3
Rusty Blackbird – 2

eBird Checklist
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31835444

November 6, 2015

Given the strong west winds I expected the dunes to be full of Short-eared Owls this morning but alas I could only muster one. Other birds seen or heard at Montrose this a.m. include:

Wilson’s Snipe – 1 in the western panne
American Woodcock – 1 flushed from the Magic Hedge
American Pipit – 1 flying over the beach
Lapland Longspur – 3 in the dunes
Snow Bunting – 1 in the dunes
Rusty Blackbird – 1 in the western panne
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
Pine Siskin – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 3
Fox Sparrow – 1

West winds in fall do a birder good.

Short-eared Owl, November 1, 2015

Tis’ the season for Short-eared Owls at Montrose. This morning I kicked one up out of the western panne in the dunes. The bird flew out over the lake and circled around a few times before I walked away and lost sight of it. This is typical Short-eared Owl behavior at Montrose, and sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t.

Migration is really winding down, especially passerine migration, but I did have a few other birds, including:

Great Black-backed Gull – 1 second cycle type
Sanderling – 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 1
Hermit Thrush – ~10
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – 1
Winter Wren – 2
American Pipit – 1
Swamp Sparrow – 1
White-crowned Sparrow – 1
Savannah Sparrow – 1
Pine Siskin – ~40
Lapland Longspur – 2
Rusty Blackbird – 1

That’s about everything. In another couple of weeks there will be even less.

Red-necked Grebe, November 11, 2014

The Red-necked Grebe was still in Montrose Harbor this morning, November 11. I saw it swimming among the starfloats on the west side of the harbor. A brief walk around the point also yielded one each of Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur, and Rusty Blackbird.

October 19, 2014

Montrose was very lively this morning, October 19, with lots of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, both kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrushes around. Here’s a partial list of what Karen and I saw:

Black-bellied Plover – 2
Dunlin – 2
Sanderling – 2
Merlin – 1
Chimney Swift – 6
White-eyed Vireo – 1 immature (gray eyes)
Winter Wren – ~5
Brown Creeper – 4
Gray Catbird – 1
American Pipit – 1
Lapland Longspur – 4, in the dunes
Snow Bunting – 4, also in the dunes
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Nashville Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – ~8
Northern Parula – 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 male
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – ~6
Blackpoll Warbler – 1
American Redstart – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Chipping Sparrow – 1
Grasshopper Sparrow – 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
Fox Sparrow – ~6
Harris’s Sparrow – 1 immature
Rusty Blackbird – 2
Purple Finch – 2
Pine Siskin – 2

The White-eyed Vireo was probably the best bird of the day, and I don’t think I’ve seen one at Montrose in the fall before. I first saw it in the willows in the dunes and later in the peripheral plantings and again near the Magic Hedge. I’m assuming this was the same individual that was just moving around a lot.

The Harris’s Sparrow was at the east end of the native planting area, not far from the tower.