I decided on the way into Milwaukee early morning being still dark with a light mist I would change plans and try for the Black-headed Gull that was reported yesterday by Daryl T in Sheboygan. When I arrived, it was just light. I stopped on the road near North Point and noticed a different gull near the waters edge. It was a Franklin’s Gull in nonbreeding plumage. A life bird for me that has avoided me well for the last few years. I have chased many reports the last couple of years, finally! The images are crude as it was just light, I shot from my parked car with the window down as a dog walker was a few feet away from the Franklin’s and moving towards it. After the bird flushed from the dog walker it flew just off shore for a minute and that was the end of that bird. I hung around for a couple of hours just in case it returned or the Black-headed Gull showed, neither happened. I stopped at Port Washington and a Great Black-backed Gull stood way out near the end of a dock. After I checked the area for other species south of that, returned, it appeared to be sleeping sound in the same place. I checked the Milwaukee Lakefront on the way back as I saw Steve L’s post of the Franklin’s Gulls moving south on the lake. I saw a flock of about 15 at the Lake Express Ferry, they were heading south. When I first saw the flock flying, it was quiet obvious it was a species I had not seen before as the way the flock moved. I also noticed a flock of about 20 Snow Buntings on the lakefront. A fun day out, weather was really not all that bad, it was not cold. Images were taken on November 12, 2015.
Binomial name: Larus pipixcan
Category: Gulls, Terns and Skimmers
Size: 14.5” long, 36” wing span
Weight: 10 oz