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Checklist S48358022

Miller Beach, Lake Street, Lake County, Indiana, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:00 PM
Party Size:
2 hour(s), 30 minute(s)
Matthew Beatty
Joined by Brad B and Pete Grube at the end, after most of the birds below had already been seen. John Kendall was down at Marquette for most of this time. Met the "Birding By Bus" folks.
13 species (+1 other taxa) total

On the beach west of Lake Street. Continuing birds. Juveniles, all gray, back feathers neatly fringed with white, medium length thick black bill. in flight, all gray back and gray tail. Larger than the sanderlings. Viewed very close at one point (~20 feet away).


See narrative under "jaeger sp" for full details. ID'd first bird based on obvious reddish-brown coloration. 2nd bird was the close one, ID'd based on strong wing flash on upper and underside of wing, slight brown coloration, and apparently lengthy bill..


see full description under "Jaeger sp." narrative. ID'd based on significantly smaller size compared to Parasitic that it joined, apparent lack of any upper wing flash, subtle lower wing flash, and tern-like flight style.

jaeger sp.

Around 3:30, I saw 4 Jaegers in a group, out to the west against the steel mills and flying towards me. They arched inland and ended up crossing over the beach and dune, headed inland, about halfway between me and the breakwall. Close enough to clearly see the reddish-brown coloration on one juvenile Parasitic Jaeger with strong wing flashes on top and bottom. The other three I am leaving as jaeger sp., although at least one looked like a strong candidate for LTJA. It appeared to have a sligher built and a light gray/tan head, but I didn't stay on it long enough to confirm. A birding couple down the beach got some photos, and when I get a chance to see those I will look to see if any of the others can be identified. All four flew south out of sight.

About 20 minutes later, all the gulls on the beach got up, and I eventually saw that it was due to a jaeger coming in from the east right along the shoreline. This bird circled around the beach where the jet sky ramp enters the lake, at one point flying within 10-15 feet of my head, before continuing west down the beach and angling out into the lake. I identified this bird as a Parasitic due to a slightly brown tinge to the underparts (although not nearly as dramatic as the first bird in the flock of 4) and strong wing flash on both the under and upper side of the wing, I also noted a fairly lengthy bill as it arched above me. I followed it out and then, when it was about 400 yards out to the NW, saw that it was joined by a second dark jaeger. This second bird was noticeably smaller (my estimate was 1/3 smaller), and appeared to have thinner wings and a more tern-like flight. The two birds flew together for about 10 minutes, slowly angling out in front of the Chicago skyline. At one point a Herring Gull seemed to be harassing them, dwarfing both birds. It was not easy to pick up much detail, but the Parasitic was still clearly showing wing flashes on upper and lower wings. The smaller bird, on the other hand, did not appear to show any wing flash on the upper wing, and only a very minor wing flash on the underside of the wing, especially compared to the Parasitic. I am IDing the smaller bird as a LTJA based on the size differential, seeming lack of prominent wing flash (and no wing flash on upper wing), and flight style. I saw both birds put down on the water and did not see them again after that.


One flock of 6 flying low through the troughs, west to east, and one on the beach.


2 flocks west to east


Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?