East 72nd Street park, along Cleveland's Lake Erie shoreline. This site is one of the best places to seek gulls in the Great Lakes, and North America for that matter. And why, you might ponder, would anyone in their right mind want to chase after "sea gulls"? Well, because gulls (decidedly NOT "sea gulls"!) are among the coolest, most visually stunning, aerobatic, and interesting of any of our bird families. Throw in the fun, and at times majorly vexing, identification challenges and the ever-present possibility of a major rarity, and what's not to like?
Reports of massive gull concentrations were coming hot and heavy from E. 72nd last week, and I could finally stand it no more. So, last Saturday I departed from Columbus at O'dark:thirty and arrived in Cleveland bright and early.
The shot above reveals a taste of the interesting gulling that E. 72nd can offer. Most of the birds are Herring Gulls of various ages, along with a few Ring-billed Gulls. These two species are far and away the most common, with Herrings often dominating when weather conditions are at their most brutal and wintry. There are also a few Great Black-backed Gulls, and a Glaucous Gull.
I clicked off 1,450 images this day, and a few of them were keepers. Gulls are lots of fun to photograph, and I'll share some of my images of specific species, including a few of the rare species, in later posts.
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull's cohorts failed to do, if they realize just how good they really are. Regardless of what thoughts or consciousness streams through the minds of gulls, they sure are fun to watch.
More on the gulls of Lake Erie to follow.