Tag Archives: Thrushes

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

Check That Dogwood, Early September 2021

Dogwood

Dogwood at The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary (click to see the larger version)

The dogwood just north of the north end of the Magic Hedge has been a hotspot for a variety of passerines this early fall. Birds I’ve seen feasting on its fruit include Gray Catbird, Swainson’s Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, and Eastern Kingbird. As of early September, the shrub has abundant berries, so it should be productive for a few weeks. Look for the clusters of pea-sized white berries to find it (as far as I know, this is the only dogwood in the sanctuary). The best approach for birding it is to stand quietly 15 to 20 feet in front of it. Patience and determination are needed to pick birds out in the thick foliage.

June 1, 2021 – Still Going

American Avocets

American Avocets working the western panne in the Dunes (click to see the larger version)

Just because May has ended doesn’t mean migration comes to a screeching halt. The following are just some of the bonafide migrants I saw at Montrose on June 1

American Avocet
Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Mourning Warbler
Canada Warbler
Dickcissel

I ended up with 60 species in about 3 hours of birding. The first week in June isn’t as frenetic as mid-May but is still worth birding, and Montrose tends to hold migrants later in spring migration than most other places. Link to my eBird checklist below.

eBird Checklist
June 1, 2021

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

Surf Scoter, Iceland Gull, and Wood Thrush, October 31, 2020

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush (click to see the larger version)

I didn’t have great expectations for October 31. The forecast called for south winds and south winds in late October never produce many birds at Montrose. Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, I was pleasantly surprised by what I did see. A couple of dead salmon washed up on Montrose Beach that attracted the attention of some Herring Gulls, which attracted the attention of a juvenile Iceland Gull. This was my first Iceland Gull of the season. Another birder alerted me to a scoter on Lake Michigan off the beach that turned out to be a Surf Scoter, another first of the season. The biggest surprise was a late Wood Thrush, the latest Wood Thrush I’ve had at Montrose, and probably anywhere else. Rounding out the list were four Common Redpolls and a couple of Snow Buntings. I tallied 37 species in three hours of birding. My eBird checklist for the morning has photos of the Iceland Gull and Surf Scoter. Follow the URL below to see it.

eBird Checklist
October 31, 2020

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

Dunlin
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
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S56957065