Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Quest for an Ivory Gull

On Thursday, Eric and I, along with our friends Landon and Steve, made the 5 hour drive to Quincy, Illinois to search for the Ivory Gull that had been reported there. When we were about an hour away, Landon received a call from another birder that wanted to let us know that the bird was at the marina where it likes to hang out. We all hoped that it would stay put until we could get there!

As we pulled in to the marina, we could see a big group of birders and saw the gull before we even got out of the car. It was a life bird for all of us and we were excited to spend some time studying the bird.

This was our first view of the bird from the car.
We spent the next hour watching the bird and we all were very excited when it flew around for a few minutes and caught a fish!

Another shot of the bird as it perched on top of some of the docks at the marina.
I was also able to capture some video of the Ivory Gull eating the fish that it caught while we were watching. Luckily, I had the video running while the bird put on a show!

After we had our fill of the Ivory Gull, we made a quick stop at the Quincy Lock and Dam to looks for another life bird for Landon and I, Eurasian Tree Sparrow. We found a mixed flock of birds that included about 20 Eurasian Tree Sparrows before we even got to the lock. It was very interesting to watch both Eurasian and American Tree Sparrows in the same flock.

On our way home, we attempted to find a Prairie Falcon that had been seen earlier in the day but we couldn't find it even after an hour of searching. The wind was whipping by this point and the temperature had dropped to the single digits so we decided to call it a day and head home.

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