I got out to the bird sanctuary around 8:45 and things started off quite promising with an immediate Sharp-shinned Hawk tucked high into the bare branches of a tree. It took off and high pitched alarm calls spread in a wave through the undergrowth.
Moments later a Cape May Warbler (life bird) appeared and was very cooperative although distant.
As the sun rose higher the birds retreated into the shadows but the butterflies put on a show.
I crept into the trees and clouds of thousand of mosquitos filled the air. A few moments later it was clear they weren't biting and I settled in with a lovely bird who foraged around me for 5 minutes. Later I learned it was a first winter female Blackburnian Warbler (life bird). She was the stuff mosquito nightmares are made of.
Behind the Magic Hedge were more bugs and more birds feasting in the shadows. This female Black-throated Green Warbler (life bird) was among them. For a slow day to still offer 3 lifers is why Montrose is great, and why being new to an area is even better.