Kittiwake, jaeger

Late this afternoon (4 pm) I made a quick stop at Wendy harbor/Whiskey Island marina, Cleveland. The harbor was absolutely jam-packed with gulls and mergansers. Upwards of 5,000 Bonaparte’s Gulls, 20,000 Ring-billed and several thousand Herring Gulls were present, frenzying around a massive merganser flock (to 10,000 birds). A single immature POMARINE JAEGER was present, offering incredible views. While sifting through the swirling Bonie flocks, I picked up on a gorgeous first-year BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE in the far western portion of the harbor. It gave fantastic views for several minutes, wheeling around rather close to shore, then dropped behind a barge and out of view (seemingly put down amidst a resting Bonie flock). I stayed till dark and was unable to re-find the kittiwake. The sheer number of birds in the harbor was staggering. A visit to Wendy Park is highly recommended for anyone seeking rarities such as Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, kittiwake, etc. The throngs of gulls and waterfowl make this a sheer hotspot.

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