28 August 2013

Early Sabine's Gull on Lake Michigan

I found my earliest Sabine's Gull to date at Warren Dunes SP in Berrien County Michigan yesterday. The bird was bolting north with a small flock of Bonaparte's some 300-400 yards off shore. I watched it for as long as I could before running to my car and driving to the next public beach.

I didn't have high hopes for relocating it, but 30-40 minutes later, I spotted what looked like the same flock of Bonparte's feeding on the lake off Weko Beach. Amazingly, the Sabine's was sitting on the water feeding and bathing like a phalarope. I watched it in my scope for a few minutes before bumbing into Michigan birder Matthew Sepcott. Much to his pleasure, he got himself a state bird and only his second Sabine's ever.
 
Juvenile Sabine's Gull. Berrien County, Michigan. 27 August 2013.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Sepcott