01 March 2018

Another Cali Gull & Laughing!

I made one last trip to Port Washington yesterday, hoping to relocate the adult Slaty-backed Gull - no luck! I was joined by Wisconsin birder Ted Keyel for most of the day where we observed gobs of Iceland and Glaucous Gulls. Not a minute went by where we didn't have a white-winger zipping past us or perched in sight. The gizzard shad die-off was yet in full swing!

1st cycle Glaucous and Iceland Gull. Port Washington, WI.

As a consolation for having missed this particular SBGU thrice this season, a 3rd cycle type California Gull - my first for Ozaukee County - and an adult Laughing Gull helped repair spirits. 

3rd cycle California Gull. The long bill, dark eye and heavily marked hindneck are distinctive.

Adult Laughing Gull. This individual walked within a few feet from us. The reward for patience!

A well-marked Iceland Gull with pale eyes.

Adult Iceland with dusky eyes and primary pattern that is noticeably slaty black.

Presumed Kumlien's Iceland Gull with just a hint of dark outer vanes on p9 and p10. A stunner!

2nd cycle Thayer's Iceland Gull. Inicidentally, this is the March Quiz Bird.

A different perspective of the same individual pictured above. The wing linings are in great condition for late winter.

Eight species of gull was good enough for me, and Ted's company was most edifying. I believe our final count was ~10 Great Black-backeds, ~4 Lesser Black-backeds, ~2500 Herrings, and ~600 Ring-billed Gulls. Lake Michigan at its finest!