Montrose Point, April 1-2, 2017

Almost warm day on April 1st; cool to cold and overcast on April 2nd.

The highlight was on April 1st, when we saw the European Goldfinch. It is not native to North America and there is speculation that several years ago a bunch were released in south-east Wisconsin. I have the two photos of the Goldfinch on ebird for April 1, as well as a recording of its song.

The ebird lists have everything we could identify.
April 1: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35622230
April 2: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35649263

April 1
There were many flickers around, tons of R-W blackbirds – one which attacked a woman (she was unharmed), reports and possible sighting of a Western Meadowlark, many Eastern Phoebes and White-breasted Nuthatches, as well as several Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Ruby-crowned as well. At the shoreline next to the dog beach on April 1, we saw three Killdeer. Also fun, a chickadee landed on my wife’s hat and tried to sample some decorative beads.

European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch. This bird was singing non-stop for several minutes. It was deep in the shrubs where the path splits after you come around to the right past the hedge.
European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch. No really good photos today of this bird. The ebird listing for Apr 1 has an audio recording we made of its song.
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)

April 2
Much like the day before. We also saw our first and second female Red-winged Blackbird. Really happy to get some good photos of the Brown Creeper.

Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper
Brown Creeper
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch in an unusual pose for that – head up, no blue back visible. Quite a few around.
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush. (Photo: my wife.)
Female Red-winged Blackbird
Female Red-winged Blackbird – first of the season for us at Montrose Point. (Photo: my wife.)
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe. Had more photo opportunities but nothing turned out except this guy who was looking away.
Eastern Towhee
Eastern Towhee
Hat that attracts chickadees
This is my wife in the hat the chickadee landed on. It tried sampling the beads. Bought it in Colorado.
me
Since I have a photo of my wife, I thought it only fair I added one of myself. This is how I usually look.
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Montrose Point, April 11

These first two photos are of some sparrow or sparrow-like birds that I could not identify.  After looking around in the small Sibley Field Guide and online I still was not sure.  There were groups of them, usually two to six.  Black beak and legs.  Hint of pink… House Finch?

My wife and I had heard reports of Kestrels around Montrose Point for several weeks now.  Today was the first time I saw it (wife was taking Thrasher pictures).  It was being chased by a single blackbird.  On the way home we spotted one flying very high over the harbor and toward Irving Park.

Please help! What are these?

Edit: Mystery solved. These are female Red-winged Blackbirds.  (Not even on my short list.)  Thanks to the IBET group members who helped ID.

20150411-mistery-sparrow
What is this?? it is a female Red-winged Blackbird.
20150411-mistery-sparrow2
Mystery Sparrow or Finch (or?). Edit: the female R-w Blackbird.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Brown Thrasher
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe
American Coot
American Coot

Conditions: 72°, clear, no wind, 3:30-5:20pm
Northern Flicker (3 at least)
Brown Thrasher (2 at least)
American Kestrel
Ring-billed Gulls
Horned Grebe (5+)
American Coot (10+)
Mallards
Red-breasted Mergansers
Canadian Geese
Cardinals
Grackles
Red-winged Blackbirds
Purple Martins (?)
Sparrows
Unknown Sparrow (or Finch? or Larkspur? Help!)

Montrose Point, April 4

20150404-b-c-chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee. There were a lot of these present.
20150404-brown-creeper
A Brown Creeper my wife spotted.
20150404-horned-grebe
A Horned Grebe. These have been around for several weeks.
20150404-northern-flicker2
Nothern Flicker. These too are hanging out for now.
20150404-yellow-bellied-sapsucker
A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Hard to get this picture through all the branches. My wife spotted this one. First one of the season for us.

20150404-common-grackle 20150404-Northern-Cardinal 20150404-northern-flicker 20150404-r-w-blackbird

Conditions: 57°, windy, 3:00-4:30pm
Ring-billed Gulls (loads)
Mallards
Canadian Geese
R-b Mergansers
Horned Grebe (5+)
Brown Creeper (1)
Cardinals
Robins
Grackles
R-w Blackbirds
Northern Flicker (2)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1)
Black-capped Chickadees (lots)