Date: 1/7/18 3:07 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Searching For The Slaty Backed Gull Sunday 1-7-18
Hello Bird People,
Matthew Cv has already posted on IBET that the Slaty Backed Gull was seen again by the Calumet River & I'm sure others have done reports on Ebird or elsewhere but if anyone is interested in some of the search details here they are so read on if interested.
Bob Erickson & I arrived at the Calumet River at the south end of Stony Island at 7:55 a.m. This is the area know as Turning Basin #5 on Ebird. There before us were Amar A & Andy S. They had tossed out bread but the Gulls did not seem interested. Gulls were flying up & down the river but no Slaty Backed was found. By 9 to 9:30 a.m. the birder count was up to about 20 but the tossed bread was still being ignored & many of the birders decided to cover other nearby locations. Next Bob & I went to Turning Basin #3 off 126th Street were Amar & Andy had already gone. Lots of Canada Geese, Mallards & Mergansers & about 50 Herring Gulls but that was it. Bob & I were on the way to Wolf Lake/Powers when Bob got a call from Andy saying the Slaty Backed had been seen & photographed near the dump at 122nd & Stony Island. Hurried back but although we got to see photographs of the fancy gull we did not see the gull. Watched from the dump area for about 30 min & then we went back to the original viewing area at the river.
Lots of Herring Gulls, 1-2 Iceland Gulls & 2 Glaucous Gulls flew by but then our attention was drawn to a barge moving up & down the river to break up the river ice. The gulls were following the barge to check the small areas of open water caused by the barge when I noticed what looked like a dark backed gull on the ice near the moving barge. Mentioned this to Jeff Skrentny who said he had seen it too but wasn't sure it wasn't some dark ice. But then the gull/dark ice object opened it's wings & started to fly proving it was a gull after all & not just any gull but the SLATY BACKED GULL. Jeff & I yelled & soon many birders were watching it fly along with the moving barge.
And so although it took Bob & I & others over 4 hours it was an "all's well end's well" kind of day. We tried to re-find it at O'Brien Lock & Dam which is where it was heading but Jeff was able to see that the Slaty Backed had returned to it's original location.
Others went back for more looks but Bob & I went to Wolf Lake/Powers where we were finally able to see Walter M's flock of COMMON REDPOLLS (15-17) in the usual Alder Trees. By then the freezing rain had started & so we packed it in ending a long but successful search.
Bird-Of-The-Day to the finally seen Slaty Backed Gull & Runners-Up to the Iceland (Kumlieni) Gulls, the Glaucous Gulls & a ROUGH LEGGED HAWK.
Al Stokie In Cook County battling some serious wind chills today in spite of warmer temps
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------