Montrose Point, Chicago

Now back in Chicago and we've got wheels. Last night we went to a White Sox baseball game. My only other experience of a ball game had been several years ago in Toronto with a 1 - 0 bore of a game taht was over in 90 minutes. This one didn't start in any more promising fashion! However the sight of a couple of Nighthawks lit up in the floodlights feeding on flying insects and lepidoptera more than made up for that.

So this-morning we made for the local hot spot for migration - Montrose Point, a few miles north of the city and fortunately a relatively easy drive. This place is a magnet for all sorts of birds and though shorebirds could turn up anywhere along the coast or landbirds in any of the shoreline trees, this site has a habit of concentrating them 'Spurn' style. I likened the area to Filey Brigg without the height. The main feature here is the 'Magic Hedge' a line of trees and dense undergrowth that draws in the passing birds - a bit like the top hedge at Filey except more bird-able. There are numerous tracks around the plot including a meadow with a water drip drinking station (a marvellous idea that would be even better if there was some screened, raised viewing of it).

Anyway, this-morning we wandered up the hedge and quickly came across some Catbirds munching on what looked to be elderberries. Goldfinches fed noisily on the thistle heads and we started to notice our first warblers: Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Palm, Tenessee and Wilson's. Eastern Wood-pewees and Willow and non-identified Flycatchers were darting around the place whilst Chimney Swifts bombed around the tree tops.
American Goldfinch
The 'Magic Hedge' from the meadow
We headed for the beach next as there were meant to be a few waders out there. Not only that but a few birders too! There was a stretch of beach that was covered in green slime - lovely! Several Sanderling trotted up and down together with a few Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Plovers, a single Turnstone (of the 'Ruddy' variety) and an unexpected Buff-breasted Sandpiper. All very photogenic too, as were the gulls which I've included for my lariphiliac friends.
Semi-palmated Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Semi-palmated Plover
First-winter Ring-billed Gull

Adult Ring-billed Gull
A particularly mean looking American Herring Gull 
Back at the hedge, we found the drinking pool and were quickly rewarded with more birds including Nashville and Pine Warbler and Northern Waterthrush. A Warbling Vireo perched up in the bare tree that backs onto the pool for a while. An all the time we were surrounded by some lovely butterflies.
Tomorrows forecast is for rain before getting rather hot. Interesting....