Many of you have probably heard peeps about good things happening at Lorain lately – multiple Little Gulls, Franklin’s, 10,000 Bonies… I was hoping to stumble across one of those dainty beauties with the midnight underwings when I stopped in late this afternoon, but was illprepared for the breathtaking scene already in full swing when I arrived. In the golden sinking rays, the surface of the harbor appeared literally alive, with huge numbers of foraging Bonaparte’s and Red-breasted Mergansers cloaking the water’s surface. A hunter on the far breakwall fired a few shots, and every single bird in the harbor took flight simultaneously. The whistling of 15,000 merganser wingtips consumed all airspace, while an equal number of Bonaparte’s Gulls whirled about perfect unison.
Basically, Lorain looks like THE spot to be this weekend. The Bonaparte concentration over the past week is the best I have ever seen here, ranging from ~10,000 to the 15,000 I estimated this evening. 15K = increased chances for those delightful species which tend to keep these guys company – Little, Black-headed, Franklin’s, and Sabine’s Gulls, and Black-legged Kittiwake…perhaps a passerby jaeger. Who knows? Maybe all these species are already present in this flock. And don’t forget about that elusive “pink” beauty of the far north. Your friendly moderators at N/NW have been scheming on a Ross’s Gull for quite some now…just as we’ve been calling for a Black-tailed for the past few years. Rock on, Craig! Who BTW, also discovered one of two state Ross’s Gull records. That’s a track record.
Happy Turkey Day, all!
– Gabe Leidy