Tuesday morning I left my dorm fairly early and drove several hours to the wastewater treatment plant at Chambly in Quebec to search for the Ross's Gull. I was a little nervous that the weather would not be favorable, as the forecast called for strong winds and I ran into some snow/sleet while driving across Vermont, but we ended up having decent weather in Quebec (though it was still fairly windy early on). I joined half a dozen or so other birders a little before 9:00 am in searching for the gull in the cold weather, but I did not have to wait long before success. The bird was first seen by a couple of us around 9:15 am, sitting on the back mound of the second treatment cell. While it was sitting with its back to us, you could clearly see the pinkish underside of the bird. The bird then started flying when the other gulls it was sitting with became airborne, and I saw the pinkish underside of the bird as well as its smaller shape. The gull flew to the
third cell and disappeared behind the front mound. However it did not take long before the Ross's and some Bonaparte's flew above the mounds, allowing everyone to observe the bird in flight and see the the pinkish breast and dark gray underwings. Over the next hour we observed the bird frequenting different portions of the treatment area; it reappeared in the back of the first cell (the cell closest to the observation area) before flying to the second and then third cells. On the water the Ross's was easy to distinguish from the other gulls, due to its smaller size, grayish/pinkish breast (depending on light), lack of prominent earspot, unmarked wings, and different posture and shape, with its head appearing more dove-like compared to the Bonaparte's. I last saw the Ross's Gull around 10:15/10:20 before slowly making my way back home.
A terrific experience and well worth the trip! Below is a link to my flickr set with pics and videos of the gull, as well as my eBird list for the area. I like how my videos of the bird turned out.
On my way back to New Hampshire I took a slight detour and traveled to the boat launch area at Shelburne Bay to try for the Little Gull that was last seen a couple days ago. While I spent a couple hours waiting and observing, I had no luck. No sign of the Little Gull. Best birds for the area were probably 4 female Common Goldeneyes and two pairs of Gadwall. Below is my list for Shelburne Bay: