Montrose Point, May 23

First time for a Mourning Warbler. Did not manage to get a good picture, but had lots of good looks at it and the Yellow Warbler going about collecting nesting material by stripping threads off the stalk of some plant.

Mourning Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Wilson's Wabler
Wilson’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler with nesting material
Yellow Warbler collecting nesting material
Yellow Warbler with nesting material
Yellow Warbler collecting nesting material
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Montrose Point, May 17

The Kirtland’s Warbler was still putting on a show today. Saw first time ever: Blackburnian Warbler. Used to see Common Nighthawks all the time as a kid in southeastern Minnesota.

Kirtland's Warbler
Kirtland’s Warbler posing.
Kirtland's Warbler
Kirtland’s Warbler
Kirtland's Warbler
Kirtland’s Warbler
Kirtland's Warbler
Kirtland’s Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler head-on view.
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Canada Warbler
Canada Warbler
Canada Warbler
Canada Warbler
Common Nighthawk resting
Common Nighthawk taking a rest. It had been in this location for several hours.
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird. There were a pair of them in the field just West of the Magic Hedge fence.
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
An Eastern Kingbird seen on the way to the Magic Hedge, across from the soccer field with the artificial turf.
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Thrushes – possibly Hermit Thrushes. eBird says that would be rare, so may be something else. Edit: upon further review and a second trip to get a better look and more photos, we think these are Swainson’s Thrushes.

Swainson's Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush – photo from second trip in afternoon.
Swainson's Thrush
Small Thrush. Sent to eBird as Hermit Thrush but that is rare. May have to change species.
Swainson's Thrush
A small Thrush. Possibly Hermit Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
The two of them in the bush in the field west of the Magic Hedge

Mallard
gulls
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Kirtland’s Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
White-crowned Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Montrose Point, May 16 and herons on May 15

Today’s big news at Montrose Point was the appearance of the Kirtland’s Warbler. Very rare bird to see here. Birders claimed you would have a chance to see one in Illinois every 10-20 years. They nest in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin (mainly Michigan, apparently). We missed the big crowd in the morning (about 70 someone estimated). When my wife and I arrived there were about ten people there. We were standing in the field outside the Magic Hedge. Behind us was Lake Michigan and to the South, fog and Chicago’s skyline.

There were many, many warblers there today, several that I saw for the first time ever. Among my firsts were the Blackpoll Warbler, the Canada Warbler, and the Clay-colored Sparrow. Outstanding day birding!

Kirtland's Warbler, May 16, 2015 at Montrose Point, Illinois
Kirtland’s Warbler. The best photo we have today. I must credit my wife with getting it.
Kirtland's Warbler, May 16, 2015 at Montrose Point, Illinois
Another pretty good photo of the Kirtland’s Warbler. Photo taken by my wife.
Kirtland's Warbler, May 16, 2015 at Montrose Point, Illinois
Kirtland’s Warbler. I took this photo. Problems focusing :(.
Common Yellowthroat with face partially hidden
Common Yellowthroat with face partially hidden.
Common Yellowthroat.
Common Yellowthroat.
Wilson's Warbler
There were many Wilson’s Warblers out today
Wilson's Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Warbler with head hidden in flowers.
A typical photograph by me. Not sure what this is other than a warbler, probably.

Friday, May 15 we saw the Black-crowned Night Heron and talked to a couple who are long-time birders about the day’s sightings.

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron. The photo was taken from across a golf course. We were about 150 yards away I guess.

For May 16
Conditions: from 75°-80°, 10:00am-2:00pm. Fog over lake, overcast.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Ring-billed Gull
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Kirtland’s Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Clay-colored Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

On the way to Montrose Point, May 12

On the way there a Baltimore Oriole flew into a tree, high up, before I got to the harbor. Across from the tree were small fields where many small birds were busy looking for food. A very good day. The pictures, though… mostly birds with their heads behind something or too fuzzy. The better ones are below.

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
20150512-eastern-wood-peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Eastern Wood-Peewee
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper

Conditions: 54°, light winds, mostly cloudy, 5:15-6:00pm.

Baltimore Oriole (2)
Eastern Wood-Peewee
Indigo Bunting
White-crowned Sparrows
Savannah Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Catbirds
Caspian Tern (2)
R-b Gulls
Barn Swallows
Purple Martins
Canadian Geese
Mallards
Spotted Sandpiper
House Sparrows, Grackles, R-w Blackbirds, Robins

North-side Backyard and Bughouse Square, May 9 and 10

My wife saw a Gray Catbird and a Blue Jay in Bughouse Square (also present were sparrows and pigeons). This was at about 12:30pm.

In our backyard, we saw a pair of Gray Catbirds and an Ovenbird. I think that is the first time I have every, knowingly, seen the latter bird. Time: 6:30ish.

On the way downtown, driving down LSD, I also noted about 15 or so Caspian Terns. That was at about 9:30am.

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

Edit: Went out in the backyard again and got a picture of the Ovenbird – yay!

Ovenbird in backyard
Ovenbird in backyard on Mother’s Day.

Montrose Point, May 3

The prize bird today was an Eastern Whip-poor-will. It was very hard to pick out, even knowing approx. where to look. It did not move at all the several minutes we were there. Others had set up shop with large lenses to see if they could catch it moving or doing something other than making like a log.

Eastern Whip-poor-will in profile
Eastern Whip-poor-will in profile.
Eastern Whip-poor-will close-up 3/4 profile.
Eastern Whip-poor-will 3/4 on. The blur in front is a branch. The colors in the image pop more than in person; much harder to see against the log.
Eastern Whip-Poor-Will among the branches
The Eastern Whip-Poor-Will in context.
White-crowned Sparrow.
White-crowned Sparrows were out in force. It was popping its head up, but I just missed with the zoom too far in.
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Conditions: Overcast, still, humid, 78°, light sprinkles, 2:15 – 3:00pm

Eastern Whip-poor-will (1)
B-c Chickadee (5)
Robins, House Sparrows, R-w Blackbirds, Grackles
White-crowned Sparrows (100s of them)
Northern Cardinals (3)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (2)
American Goldfinch (10)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (4)
R-b Gulls
Mallards
American Coot (1)
Purple Martins
Barn Swallows
Northern Rough-winged Swallows

Montrose Point, May 2

Northern Mockingbird (1 – rare!)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (20)
Yellow Warbler (4)
Northern Flicker (2)
Y-b Sapsucker (2)
B-c Chickadee (2)
Cedar Waxwing (6)
Double-crested Cormorant (60)
Purple Martin (10)
Barn Swallow
Mallards (6)
White-throated Sparrows (80)
White-crowned Sparrow (6)
Cardinals (6)
R-b Gulls, R-w Blackbirds, House Sparrow
House Wren (2)
Brown Thrasher (4)
Eastern Towhee (5)
Ruby-crowned Kinglets (15)