I checked several places along the northern Lake County lakefront today, December 23. The Waukegan Harbor area was by far the most productive. I made 2 stops at Waukegan, the first early in the morning, the second early in the afternoon. My highlights from Waukegan include:
Black Scoter - female-type bird next to the Municipal Pier (p.m. only) Long-tailed Duck - 7 female-type birds next to the Municipal Pier (6 in the a.m. and 7 in the p.m.) Lesser Black-backed Gull - second cycle type bird resting with Herring Gulls on the docks in the north part of the harbor Snowy Owl - heavily marked bird sitting on a concrete partition in the parking lot just west of the Municipal Pier (thanks Bob E for the heads-up)
I also checked both units of Illinois Beach State Park and North Point Marina. The south unit of IBSP had a Long-tailed Duck and large numbers of Greater Scaup but nothing else of note. The north unit had a Thayer's Gull or 2. North Point Marina was surprisingly birdless with few gulls in the harbor. My best bird at NPM was a female Red-winged Blackbird. Despite my best efforts I couldn't find any Red-throated Loons. Just a month ago I had over 20 in one day along the northern Lake County lakefront.