California Gull at Johnson Creek in Jefferson County Wisconsin on October 20, 2020

I saw the report of a California Gull, rare for this area at  Johnson Creek and decided to check it out this morning. Far from it’s normal range of the west coast but some do come inland a few states off breeding season. I arrived at the location reported, a new large concrete Kwik Trip parking lot still under construction north of the interstate.  When I arrived, present was Jim F in his car and had the gull already located. So that made it easy for me with the couple of hundred gulls present with some always coming and going. The gull did stand out though with the mantle being a little darker and the gull being a little larger than a Ring-billed Gull. It was resting when I arrived, eyes closed I would say. After about 25 minutes the gull coughed up a large pellet, I thought wow! A few minutes later it took flight and headed east towards the landfill. I noticed the gull only had one foot. A big thank you to Spence, Christin and Sandra for finding this awesome rare gull and getting the word out. Not a lifer as I saw one here back at this location in 2012. It was a cold cloudy morning, with some wind making it feel pretty cold! Images were taken on October 20, 2020.

The California Gull…with Ring-billed Gulls…

Resting when I arrived…

A wing stretch, leg stretch…1 foot…using its wing to balance…

Coughing up that LARGE pellet, which gulls do…

Maybe more to come but other gulls, Ring-billed Gulls looking on…

It was just time to take off I guess and head to the landfill…

The gulls were not flushed, it was just time to go…

Heading east…

The bill…

Preening…

Another one of when I arrived…

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Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

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