There were A LOT of gulls along the lakefront, today – at Vermilion, Huron, and Lorain. That being said, though large gulls seem to be increasing in numbers, white-wingers have been quite scarce locally this year. I could not find anything out of the ordinary, save two ad. Lesser Black-backeds at Lorain. Great Black-backeds seem to be around in moderate numbers, this year.
After leaving Huron, I drove the grounds of Sawmill Creek Golf Course/Resort, just east of Sheldon’s Marsh along US-6. Here I found a gorgeous Merlin, along with six flyover redpolls and a siskin. Great habitat here for wintering Merlin…there could be more than one bird using this large area.
I headed out this way today, partially because I wanted to check out the James A. McBride Arboretum. This Erie Co. Metropark features a large crabapple collection, which ought to tempt hungry Bohemian Waxwings. While there were few birds today, this park is definitely worth checking, especially this year. The arboretum borders the BGSU Firelands campus, which was teeming with geese, among them a single Cackling.
On the way home, I stopped at Lorain Harbor, arriving about 15 min after John’s post. What a difference a day makes here. I led a group from Western Cuyahoga Audubon here yesterday, and there were very few birds and only about ten Bonaparte’s Gulls. Today, there were closer to 400, as John mentioned, and a good number of Herring Gulls. All of the Bonaparte’s were just off the spit on the west side of the Black River, all within 75 yards of land. At this close range it was easy to peruse through the birds, and I could discern no Black-headed among them, unfortunately. As an aside, we did have a male Northern Harrier at the impoundment, yesterday.