Today we went to Montrose Point to look for Snow Buntings and any migrating ducks. We arrived there at about 8:15, and immediately headed down to the dunes. Since the winds were in the 20's and straight out of the North, there was zero activity in the hedge, so we moved on. Once we got to the beach, I started scanning. There was nothing I could see until a flock of 50 MALLARDS flew by. Then a birder came and told us of four SNOW BUNTINGS up the beach a little ways. We actually didn't need to walk, the buntings came to us!
In the wind, they had a really hard time flying so they gave us some good shot opportunities. I moved to a protected area behind some trees and started a mini lake watch. RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, MALLARDS, and GREATER SCAUP were always on the move. I had a female BLACK SCOTER fly by which was an IL lifer. Then, while scanning the horizon, I picked up two gulls chasing each other. As I focused my scope, I saw that one of the gulls was brown and had white wing patches! A Jaeger! Although too far out to I.D. it was still really awesome to see. Two RED-THROATED LOONS also made an appearance overhead,
along with a MERLIN that zipped in and quickly left.
This small unidentified duck/scoter/gull came by. I'm still not sure on what it is, so if you know let me know.
We had to leave after that. It was a great November day. I got 1 1/2 Illinois Lifers, so it wasn't bad at all. Lists for Montrose is below.
Montrose Point, Lincoln Park, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, US
Nov 11, 2016 8:55 AM - 10:25 AM
22 species (+3 other taxa)
Black Scoter 1
Red-breasted Merganser 50
jaeger sp. 1 seen from about two mile out. White wing patches and chasing a gull. brownish young bird but no way of id
gull sp. 50
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 7
American Tree Sparrow1