Here we are, two full weeks into June and we’re still getting a few late spring migrants at Montrose. Historically, Semipalmated Sandpipers are one of the last northbound migrants we see. This one was dancing with its shadow at Montrose Beach on June 17. In just a couple weeks the first southbound shorebirds will start appearing. There almost isn’t a time when migration isn’t happening.
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
It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks the first southbound migrants will start appearing at Montrose. Link to my eBird checklist for the morning below.
June 4, 2021
Shorebird activity is picking up. On August 19 I had a Willet, Red Knot, 6 Semipalmated Plovers, about 30 Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a Sanderling. The pool on the public beach we call the fluddle has been a hot spot and that’s where most of these shorebirds were. A Whimbrel was seen by others. Link to my eBird checklist for August 19 below.
August 19, 2020
It was so cold at Montrose this morning, October 13, Lake Michigan was steaming. This is a common sight in winter but rare at this time of the year, caused by a large difference in temperature between the water and air (about 30 degrees today early in the morning). Birding was productive, with lots of expected mid fall migrants like Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Hermit Thrushes, plus a few late warblers and other passerines. Many insect-eating passerines were feeding on the ground or close to it because of the cold. I ended up with 56 species in about 4 hours. Best birds were Semipalmated Sandpiper, Merlin, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Nelson’s Sparrow. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.
We’re in the gray area for shorebird migration. The first southbound shorebirds should start appearing any day now (Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs) if they haven’t appeared already, but a few shorebirds could still be moving north. This morning, June 24, I saw a Semipalmated Sandpiper at Montrose Beach. I tend to think this bird is a very late northbound migrant as opposed to a very early southbound migrant. We see Semi Sans regularly at Montrose well into June; I think this bird is at the tail end of that trend.
I had a nice collection of shorebirds at Montrose Beach this afternoon, June 1, including 3 White-rumped Sandpipers, 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers, a Dunlin, and 2 Semipalmated Plovers. All of these birds were in the fluddle, just west of the beach house.
Just because it’s June doesn’t mean migration has stopped.