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East 72nd street in Cleveland is absolutely incredible for gulls right now. That is an understatement. Lake Erie is frozen and Cleveland Public Powerplant is pumping warm water underneath I-90 and out into the lake, drawing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of gulls to East 55th and 72nd. Views are point-blank at the warm water outflow. East 72nd street is part of Cleveland Lakefront State Park. Access is easy and viewing is astounding. Upwards of 7 different Glaucous Gulls, 12 different Iceland Gulls, and 4 Thayer’s Gulls, amongst throngs of Herring, Great-black-backed and Ring-billed plus daily high-counts of 13 Lesser Black-backs are possible for birders. Most days see between 2 and 4 Iceland Gulls, between 2 and 6 Glaucous Gulls, 2 to 3 Thayer’s. Photo opportunities and prolonged studies are mind-blowing. Today a PURPLE SANDPIPER – exceptionally rare this time of the year, showed up (found by Steve Borgis) at 72nd and was seen to 5 feet away as it foraged along rocks and out along the ice floe. 72nd is the hottest spot in CLE now. Eastlake Power Plant is off and on fantastic as well but 72nd is really showing its colors.
Photos should be titled. First cycle Glaucous Gulls. First cycle Icelands. Adult Iceland. 2nd cycle Icelands. Second cycle Thayer’s – two individuals. And. Purple Sandpiper.