A Travellerspoint blog

Two Days of Montrose Shorebirds!

Chicago, IL

overcast 79 °F

Yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn to join Isoo O’Brien for a morning shorebird scan at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. We arrived soon after six to find a smattering of “peeps” in the fluddle on the beach — LEAST SANDPIPER:


MALLARDS in the dawn sky:

Then, Isoo spotted the most common migrant “large shorebird:” a WILLET, my 201st bird for Cook County this year! Cool.

A few “flying cigar” CHIMNEY SWIFTS flew over.

Isoo actually had school today starting at 9am, so he bid adieu a bit before 8 and I covered the dunes and Magic Hedge by myself. It was almost startlingly quiet, but I did manage the world’s most horrible photo of the single migrant warbler I saw today: NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH:

It was a great morning to get out! Bird-of-the-day to the Willet — every new year bird for Cook County this year helps me stay in the top 20 birders of the year. Good stuff!

Today, I wasn’t expecting a birding trip, but when Isoo texted the rare bird alert that another Red Knot had shown up at Montrose (I missed the last one), I was in the car in no time, on my way to Montrose Beach, despite it being early rush hour.

I arrived around 5pm and immediately noticed an abundance of shorebirds including these beautiful SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS:

And lo and behold, in the middle of the fluddle on the beach was a larger, gray shorebird with a medium bill: RED KNOT! This one is an immature bird given the scaly appearance on the back. Amazing year bird — only the second one of this species I have ever seen!

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS proved to be the most numerous shorebird with about 30 of them foraging around.

The two SEMIPALMATED species — PLOVERS in front, SANDPIPERS in back!

The knot continued to give absolutely crushing views in the evening light.

As did a LEAST SANDPIPER — the other “peep” species found today (the other one being Semipalmated).

This SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER had a longish bill, faking me out for Western Sandpiper for a bit, but the consensus drawn by my friends and I is that the bill is within the range for Semipalmated.

A quick walk through the Magic Hedge was cut short by a creepy man who kept following me, despite me reversing direction multiple times and clearly being uninterested with him. Unfortunately, the Magic Hedge is prone to “cruisers:” predominantly gay men actively looking for, and following, anyone who may stumble into the area after, say, 11am on any given day in the summer. Disgusting...(not that they are gay, but that they follow/target people)

Bird-of-the-day to the Red Knot with runner-up to the Semipalmated Plovers. Stay tuned for more fall (yes, fall!) migration fun including even more shorebirds, and the onset of a full season of Oak Park Bird Walks.

Happy birding,
World Life List: 1119 Species

Posted by skwclar 21:32 Archived in USA

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: