As a birder, we never know how a birding day will be. On March 11, 2023, we started the day looking for birds at Holland State Park. Our next stop was to picking up groceries. At 10:41 AM while waiting for our grocery shopper to bring out the groceries, a note came over the Discord Great Lakes RBA that there was a Ross’s Gull on the Indiana breakwall at the IN-IL border. We rushed home and put the refrigerated food away. By this time Discord had a location: Rainbow Beach. We checked how long it would take us (2 hours and 15 minutes). This was a short drive for a lifer that is hard to find in the US except in Alaska. And away we went. We opted for the toll booth route. It went from a 7-minute difference to a 38 minute difference by the time we needed to make the decision. We pulled into Rainbow Beach and immediately spotted birders. We were even lucky to find a parking space opposite the birders. We hopped out of the car and walked very quickly to the gathered group. I asked a birder next to me where it was and he pointed to the right. We quickly spotted it. Others were talking that it was taking flight every 20 minutes or so. It did not disappoint. It flew almost overhead landing briefly in the water right in front of us. We left for home after watching it for 30 minutes.
I added this photo to show a size comparison with the Ring-billed Gull.