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
White-rumped and Semipalmated Sandpipers (click to see the larger version)
This isn’t the best photo, and I had to enhance it a bit in Photoshop, but these 2 molting adult White-rumped Sandpipers (with 2 juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers) were part of a nice mix of shorebirds at Montrose Beach on September 1. Stilt Sandpipers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, a Ruddy Turnstone were also seen. White-rumped Sandpipers are rare but regular fall migrants at Montrose. Unfortunately, most of these birds were present only early in the morning. I ended up with 48 species in a little over 2 hours of birding. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.
Red Knot and Stilt Sandpiper (click to see the larger version)
A nice group of shorebirds were working the fluddle at the far west end of Montrose Beach late this afternoon, August 25, including a juvenile Red Knot and a juvenile Stilt Sandpiper. Also present were Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers. Red Knot and Stilt Sandpiper are rare but regular migrants at Montrose.
I had an adult Stilt Sandpiper at Montrose Beach this morning. The bird was in the small fluddle between the west end of the protected area and the plastic boardwalk. It flew off when I first saw it but came back after a few minutes. Stilt Sandpipers are fairly rare at Montrose, and we don’t often see them on the beach.
Other than the Stilt San I saw nothing else of note and I had to leave early because of the rain. A cold front will move through northern Illinois early next week and there could be shorebirds moving ahead of it; Montrose Beach might be worth checking later today and tomorrow.