Southeastern Montana is a fabulous, but under birded region possessing eye-popping scenery and an impressive array of birds. With that in mind, Robin and Richard Wolcott joined me in exploring ten counties in this remote corner of the state over the past several days. We did a lot of eBirding hoping to add to the understanding of the distribution and occurrence of breeding birds in the region.
We learned a lot during our exploration, but the most impressive observation was the number of Dickcissels we encountered in this invasion year. Our cumulative eBird lists reflected 26 Dickcissels plus several more that were encountered when we were not recording a list of birds.
Perhaps the densest population of Dickcissels were recorded in Treasure County. We did an eBird list for a three mile stretch near Hysham, driving a stretch of road towards Myers. Here we had a total of 9 Dickcissels plus two more after we had finished driving the segment and were moving onward.
Considering how few Dickcissels I have seen in the past in many years of birding Montana, I consider this current irruption to be nothing short of remarkable!