Tag Archives: Swainson’s Thrush

April 27, 2021 – A Day to Remember

Green Heron

Green Heron (click to see the larger version)

We were all expecting a great day on April 27, but I don’t think anyone knew just how good it would be. It turned out to be one of the best April days at Montrose any of us could remember. According to eBird, about 120 species were reported by all observers, with multiple rarities and first of season sightings. I ended up with 73 species in about 2.5 hours. My highlights include

Eastern Kingbird (early)
Yellow-throated Vireo (early)
All 6 regularly occurring swallows
Gray Catbird (early)
Swainson’s Thrush (early)
Cerulean Warbler (very rare, less than annual)
Yellow-throated Warbler (very rare, less than annual)
Pine Warbler (2, uncommon)
Summer Tanager (a nice adult male, uncommon at Montrose)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (early)

Any day with Cerulean and Yellow-throated Warblers and Summer Tanager is hard to beat. I don’t think I’ve had this trio at Montrose before either. The number of early passerines felt like early or mid-May rather than late April. It’s amazing and predictable what southwest winds do for bird migration in the spring. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
April 27, 2021

Still Going, June 1, 2019

Just because the calendar says it’s June doesn’t mean migration comes to a screeching halt. Early June can be good for shorebirds, flycatchers, late warblers, and other stragglers, and Montrose is a great place to see this late spring migration. Such was the case on June 1. I tallied 64 species in 3 hours of morning birding. My highlights include

Semipalmated Sandpiper (4)
Sanderling (5)
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (4)
Alder Flycatcher (2)
Willow Flycatcher
Blue Jay (20)
Swainson’s Thrush (4)
12 species of warblers, including Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white, Mourning, Connecticut, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Canada, and Wilson’s

Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist

Harlequin Duck, Piping Plover, and Swainson’s Thrush, November 8, 2018

Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck (click to see the larger version)

I spent a couple hours at Montrose on Thursday, November 8. The female type Harlequin Duck was inside the fishing pier and the Piping Plover continues on the beach. The Plover has been present for 3 weeks now. My best passerine was a very late Swainson’s Thrush near the Magic Hedge. A strange mix of birds for November. I ended up with 43 species for my effort. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist

Piping Plover and Swainson’s Thrush, July 23, 2017

Piping Plover

Piping Plover (click to see the larger version)

A banded juvenile Piping Plover has been hanging around Montrose Beach for a few days. This morning I saw it in the fluddle on the public beach (fluddles are pools of water that form after heavy rains and are attractive to migrating shorebirds). As of this post, the source location of this bird has not been determined. Several banded Piping Plovers that have appeared on the Illinois Lake Michigan lakefront in the past have been traced to the population from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan. Perhaps that is where this bird is from. After the plover, my next best bird was an early Swainson’s Thrush, a portent of things to come in a few weeks. Link to my eBird checklist for the day below.

eBird Checklist

May 11, 2016

Eastern Whip-poor-will

Eastern Whip-poor-will (click to see the larger version)

I was at Montrose from 6 to 8 this morning and it was impressive. I don’t know if this constituted a fallout but there were a lot of birds around. I almost didn’t go out because of the thick fog (.25 mile visibility), but I was curious if the fog had downed any birds. The warblers weren’t the best I’ve ever seen but still good (I ended up with 22 species), but the tanagers, grosbeaks, and thrushes were
excellent. There was definitely turnover compared to the last few days. Here’s a rundown of what I saw (not a complete list; for a complete list follow the eBird link below):

Common Nighthawk – 1 perched on the outer branches of a Honey Locust (!)
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Great Crested Flycatcher – ~6
Least Flycatcher – ~10
Eastern Kingbird – ~15, some in groups of 4 and 5
White-eyed Vireo – 1
Yellow-throated Vireo – 1
Philadelphia Vireo – 1
Red-eyed Vireo – ~5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – ~12
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – ~12
Eastern Bluebird – 1
Wood Thrush – 1
Veery – ~6
Swainson’s Thrush – ~40
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 3
Gray Catbird – ~50, they seemed to be everywhere
Blue-winged Warbler – 1
Golden-winged Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 3
Nashville Warbler – 2
Tennessee Warbler – ~5
Northern Parula – 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler – ~5
Cape May Warbler – ~5
Magnolia Warbler – ~15
Yellow-rumped Warbler – ~15
Black-and-white Warbler – 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler – 1 male
Black-throated Green Warbler – 2
Bay-breasted Warbler – 1
Palm Warbler – ~25
Canada Warbler – 1
Common Yellowthroat – ~40
Wilson’s Warbler – 1
Ovenbird – 2
Northern Waterthrush – ~6
American Redstart – ~8
Scarlet Tanager – ~12, some in groups of 3 and 4
Savannah Sparrow – ~20
Swamp Sparrow – ~40
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
White-crowned Sparrow – ~40
White-throated Sparrow – ~25
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – ~12
Indigo Bunting – ~8
Bobolink – 1
Orchard Oriole – 1 immature male
Baltimore Oriole – ~12
Pine Siskin – 1

eBird Checklist

June 1, 2014

I spent a couple of hours at Montrose this morning, trying to ring a few more drops out of migration. For June 1 it wasn’t half bad. Here’s some of what I saw:

Semipalmated Sandpiper – 4 on the beach
Semipalmated Plover – 1 on the beach
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1 male in the Magic Hedge (Nesting? Seems late for a migrant.)
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee – 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 1
Swainson’s Thrush – 2
Red-eyed Vireo – 3
Blackpoll Warbler – 2, 1 male and 1 female
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Magnolia Warbler – 2
American Redstart – ~5
Mourning Warbler – 1
Bobolink – 1 male
Dickcissel – 1 female

It ain’t over until you know who sings.