I have had a couple of top notch sightings on Christmas Day previously one of which was the Ivory Gull in 1991 & the other was the Yellow Billed Loon near Rock Falls way back in 1986. So I decided to add to that by seeing the Piping Plover which has taken up "permanent residence" at Montrose. Not up to he level of the other 2 birds but a very good sighting considering the late date. So I started at the beach at 8:30 a.m. & soon found the PIPING PLOVER near the fence for the Protected Beach. Then as I was leaving the beach I ran into Howard B who told me he had just seen a WESTERN GREBE near the mouth of the harbor. This was probably the bird seen & reported yesterday by Isoo O'Brien at Jackson Park. In fact this is probably the bird 1st found by me at Montrose by the fish hook pier back in early November & then seen all the way up & down the lakefront from Northwestern to Rainbow Beach. So I walked over to the harbor mouth to find the Grebe just inside the harbor but it soon started out in the direction of the Jarvis Sanctuary. The Grebe was pointed out to me by Geoff W & the Lakefront X.Mas Count group. Thanks for that to the group & to Howard for the original sighting.
Other highlights for today at Montrose included EASTERN TOWHEE (1-M) & a late HERMIT THRUSH which the count group found but I missed at 1st but later saw it when by myself east of where the group saw it. Also saw Red Bellied, Downy & HAIRY Woodpeckers & in the harbor was a lone COOT. Ducks seen today included Mallard, Greater Scaup, Goldeneye & both Red Breasted & Common Merganser. In spite of the group tossing out bread the only Gulls were Ring Billed & Herring. Finally, the semi-tame RED BREASTED NUTHATCH made sure it was included by the X-Mas Count folks. About the only good sighting I did not see was the Redhead found by Dave A.
Bird-Of-The-Day will be a tie between the Piping Plover (which I figured would be there) & the Western Grebe (which was quite a surprise). Runners-Up to the Towhee & the Hermit Thrush.
Merry Christmas to all & to all a Good Night!
Al Stokie In Cook County today doing very well thank you
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------