11 December 2014

Glaucous & Iceland Day

It's not often that I hit my exact target(s) for the day, but I left my house in the morning saying to myself "I need Glacuous and an Iceland today". The day was a success!

Glaucous Gull (1st cycle). Lake County, IL. 04 Dec 2014.
Notice how the lowered tertials and empty crop (pre-feeding) make this bird look sleeker and somewhat thin. It wasn't a very big GLGU to begin with - not much larger than many of the male type Herrings.
Glaucous is always a long shot at the Fairgrounds and this is only my 5th one for that site.

Adult Icelands are always a treat too, especially when their identity is not clouded by darker, thayeri-like primaries :

Kumlien's Iceland Gull (adult) with similar-aged Herring. Lake County, IL. 04 Dec 2014.
It may take some squinting and stepping back from your monitor, but the tonal values to the upperparts of the Iceland do strike me as being lower than the Herring's. The wingtips of this bird somewhat resemble the Hammond Indiana Kumlien's.

All in all though, the Lake County Fairgrounds had substantially lower numbers this first weekend of December, in comparison to the great end to November. This goes against my prediction of gulls packing the arena after Turkey Day...maybe they were present but glued to the landfill. Temperatures were about 15 degrees warmer and in my experience, this almost never helps the cause.