30 December 2014

Lake County - More White-wingers

Greg Neise and I hit a few Lake County spots on Monday, 29 December 2014. Here are the day's highlights:

15 Thayer's Gulls (13 adults, 2nd cycle, 1st cycle).
4   Kumlien's Gulls (all adults including an all white-winged individual).
4   Glaucous Gulls (3rd cycle, three 2nd cycles).
1   Lesser Black-backed Gull (adult).

Thayer's Gull (1st cycle). Waukegan. Lake Co, IL. 29 Dec 2014. A cooperative individual.
Same 1st cycle Thayer's as above with 1st cycle Herring.
2nd cycle Thayer's. Primaries a bit pale but the harsh lighting is mostly to blame for this.
2nd cycle Thayer's.
2nd cycle Glaucous Gull - 1 of 4 on the day.
2nd cycle Glaucous Gull. Waukegan. Lake Co, IL. 29 Dec 2014. 
Adult Thayer's Gull - small spot on outer web of right p4. Lake Co, IL. 29 Dec 2014.
Same individual above.
Kumlien's Iceland Gull (adult). Lake Co, IL. 29 Dec 2014.
Sub-adult wannabe Slaty-backed...Herring Gull (3rd cycle). 
Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull - our only LBBG for the day.

We had a bit of an eagle disturbance. Always on the lookout for raptors, every single one of our gulls picked up and flushed before either of us could spot this Bald Eagle:


The only gull that didn't fly off was this injured/sick adult Herring. The eagle took a few tries at him...

We didn't think this would end well for the Herring but it stood its ground (literally) and the eagle left it be...a good ending in my book.

I remain impressed by the relatively good numbers of white-wingers being found this season! Ring-billed numbers were holding steady at Waukegan Harbor (~ 70 individuals, mostly adults). Still no snow and it's a couple of days from 2015...I'm not complaining.