Fortunately, about 45 minutes before we arrived, we got word the gull was relocated above the dam by Mark Seiffert who was gracious enough to stay with the bird. After a little trial and error, Wes and I finally found the spillway and got up to the dam.
Here are the looks we started with:
After everyone present - including Andy Sigler who got his 400th Illinois species - checked the bird off, I announced I would be chumming. I walked down the hill and went to work:
|BLACK-TAILED GULL (NEAR ADULT). CARLYLE, ILLINOIS. 12 JANUARY 2016.|
Evidently, this is now the 18th gull species for Carlyle Lake (the biggest lake in Illinois) and only the 2nd record for Illinois.
I'll end with this Eastern perspective: the notion that Slaty-backeds are found with Herrings and Black-taileds are found with Ring-billeds was nicely reinforced here. The Black-tailed Gull is associating with thousands of Ring-billeds (15,000+) that are feeding below the dam on chopped up fish. The last 3 Black-tailed Gulls seen in the Midwest region have been found in the company of Ring-billed Gulls.