Yesterday Montrose had Buff Breasted & Stilt Sandpipers & Fermi Lab had a Red Necked Phalarope. Had to decide which place to go & so I picked Montrose as I could then head farther south after Montrose & as it was a holiday traffic should be better than on a normal Sunday.
Montrose Beach & Dunes (6:45-7:45 a.m.)
On the beach there were more birders (11) than shorebirds (2 species & 5 individuals). The 2 shorebird species were Semipalmated Plover (3) & Sanderling (2) Also seen were Canada Geese (125 on the beach) & Mallard (2) One Peregrine flew in from the lake but just kept going inland Among the many Ring Billed Gulls were a few Herring Gulls & no Caspian Terns Flying over the beach were a few Barn Swallows & walking back to the car I heard a Catbird & a Warbling Vireo.
Only 1 beach cleaning machine in action today & I asked the driver if today was his last day driving the beach as Labor Day weekend is the end of the official beach season. He said no as they would be plowing up the sand where the beach meets the water to prepare for Winter probably until 9-19. I had hoped we were done with those machines!
Burnham Prairie (8:30-9:45 a.m.)
As I arrived Steve Huggins was about to leave but he pointed out the best shorebird which was a juvenile Short Billed Dowitcher. Other shorebirds were Killdeer (49 & 4 more in the back pond), Semipalmated Plover (eventually 10), Greater (1) & Lesser (7, although Steve had more earlier) Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper (4). After Steve was gone new arrivals were Semipalmated (6) & Pectoral (1) Sandpipers.
Big Waders were Great Blues (2), Great Egret (2) & Green Heron (4) Ducks were Mallards & Blue Winged Teal One Caspian Tern is still staying & 1 male Kingfisher was hunting Way too many Starlings covered the area.
Hegewisch Marsh (10-11:15 a.m.)(Here I was joined by Mike & Jamie for part of the time)
Another try to see or hear a Least Bittern ended in failure as did all previous attempts! From the near viewing area I saw one COMMON GALLINULE but it was a poor look so I went to the far west end where the view of the wetlands is much better. From there I saw zero Gallinules! So much for a better view. The Mute Swan family remains at 5 with the 3 young ones now as big as the adults but far from being as white in color. No Herons or Egrets but ducks were Mallards, Wood Ducks & both Green & Blue Winged Teal. Finally saw 4 P.B. Grebes & then 4 young but distant Common Gallinules.
But the big surprise (for me anyway) was the numbers of shorebirds which I don't recall seeing here before. Usually I see 1 or 2 Killdeer & that's it. Today I did again have 2 Killdeer but with them were Greater (1) & Lesser (7) Yellowlegs, Solitary (1), Pectoral (1), STILT (2-JUV) Sandpipers & SHORT BILLED DOWITCHER (1-JUV). Mud flats were few but the water was shallow enough for the shorebirds to feed.
Bird-Of-The-Day to the Common Gallinules & Runners-Up to the Stilt Sandpipers & Short Billed Dowitchers (2 each)
License Plate Of The Day to one from Delaware seen on the way to Montrose in the early a.m.
Nothing really special but a nice mix of birds to look at & count.
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------