I stopped at the Whiting BP Refinery Beach yesterday, 17 may 2015, hoping to perhaps find a lingering winter gull. I knew there was a good chance of finding a Great Black-backed as I've found one here for the last two Mays, including this banded bird from last year.
Not only did I find "a" GBBG, I found 7 (4 first cycles, 2 second cycles and a third cycle type):
Needless to say I was ecstatic and at one point had all seven birds within a few hundred yards of each other. I made sure to double and triple count, with likely an 8th bird that disappeared and so to err on the side of caution, I've chosen to only document 7.
Thanks to Ken Brock for verifying his records for me, and confirming this is indeed a new May high count for the Hoosier state. I share Ken's suspicion that GBBG may soon become a summer resident here on southern Lake Michigan - at least sub-adult non-breeders.