I was surprised to see 4 Snowy Owls at Montrose this morning. I thought most had left but it appears more came in to replace them. Two were on the fishing pier, one was on the ice shelf at the west end of the beach, and the other was flying south over the point, almost like it was migrating. I also saw an adult or near adult Glaucous Gull flying north, the Snow Goose in the harbor, and 4 Snow Buntings and a single Lapland Longspur on the beach.
A shrike flew in off the lake early this morning. I walked around the point looking for it without luck so it will have to remain unidentified. Either species is possible now though Northern is far more likely. A pale first year Glaucous Gull and a pale first year Thayer’s type Gull were at the west end of the beach.
A first cycle Glaucous Gull has been hanging around Montrose Beach for a couple days. Thayer’s and Lesser Black-backed Gulls have also been seen at Montrose recently. These gulls are attracted to the dead salmon that wash up on the beach. Glaucous Gulls breed in the high arctic all around the world. They are rare but regular winter visitors to Illinois.