24 June 2014

Lake Michigan Season High Count of Little Gulls

On Friday, 13 June 2014, I recorded eleven Little Gulls in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. One group held 9 birds in a single flock, while 2 other birds were in view. This sighting constitutes a personal species high-count for me, and is likely the greatest number of Little Gulls recorded on Lake Michigan since the early 1990s.

Here are a few of the more cooperative individuals:

LIGU (1st summer). Manitowoc, WI. 13 June 2014.

A short video of the 9 LIGUs in one flock:

Other weekend highlights included more Lesser Black-backeds (14) and my first June Grerat Black-backeds (5) of the year. All of the LBBGs were 1st/2nd cycles and all of the GBBGs were 1st cycles. The theme of course is sub-adult birds that are presumably spending their summer south of the breeding grounds (or west of the breeding grounds when considering GBBGs?). Also of note was 3 more LIGUs in Sheboygan, for a total of 14 in two days.

Interestingly, we missed GBBG last weekend which would've given us a 9 gull day. Others had a Glaucous Gull on this day in Port Washington, for at least "ten" gull species on the Wisconsin lakefront in June!!

GBBG (1st summer). Two Rivers, WI. 14 June 2014.
LBBG (1st summer) with RBGU (front) and HERG (back). Two Rivers, WI.
GBBG (1st summer) with RBGUs (1st summers). Two Rivers, WI. 14 June 2014.
Two Rivers, WI. North of the rivers. Some 1,200 LWHGs.
1st summer LIGU. Sheboygan, WI. 14 June 2014.
Advanced 2nd summer LBBG. Sheboygan, WI. 14 June 2014. 1 of 3.

1st summer LBBG. Sheboygan, WI. 14 June 2014. Same bird below.

1st summer BOGU with nearly complete hood. Sheboygan, WI.  14 June 2014.

Who says you can't watch gulls in the summer??? :)

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