Monday, January 11, 2010

More "Cool" birding on the lake!

These are the smart gulls! This is the area where warm water flows out of our power plant.
Its the prime area for finding gulls in Cleveland in the winter. You just have to get past the smell of formerly frozen fish...

After the Western Cuyahoga Audubon walk at Dike 14, a few of us decided to check the lake front near the power plant for gulls and ducks. This warm water out flow is a magnet for water birds in the area. There are tons of fish that come to the surface of the warm water, then die in the icy cold for the ducks and gulls to feed on. I think there is a reason the fish are called "Smelt!"

As the lake is frozen out to about three miles right now, a spotting scope or a really powerful lens will be a necessity...and some grippy boots! The wind and waves coat the break walls in a thick layer of very slippery ice! Watch your optics! Warranties don't usually cover bouncing off rocks. Not to mention swimming isn't recommended this time of year...

Here's a few Canada Geese in the sauna!

Cleveland boaters are a special breed. I don't think they will be going anywhere for a while...

We see mostly Ring-billed Gulls. A lazy bunch were stealing the days catch from these Buffleheads!

This one is for my friend Chris in Iceland! It's an Iceland Gull of course! He's here for the sunshine I think...
You really should visit his blog, outstanding photos!

Also among the Ring-bills and Herring Gulls where a few Greater Black-backed Gulls.

Okay, get busy and name everything in this shot!
This is why birding on the frozen lake front is fun, there can be so many birds all crammed together!

And always a surprise out there.
In the back on the left is a Hooded Merganser, and in the right foreground in a Red-breasted Merganser.


  1. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the Iceland gull... I guess that I should say the same thing as I told Steve... How can you get this bird in your country? ;-) Are they not supposed to be Iceland gull? ;-) More seriously, I think I've seen it twice over here and not more but I have to admit that I hate gulls because their ID is sometime a headaches!!!
    Your shots are truly amazing, I love the one with the all lot of species, a long time I did not see that kind of things!! I'm eager to be in spring again...
    Thanks for the kind words you said on my blog ;-)

  2. Hi Chris!:You need to visit Cleveland to see more Iceland Gulls! They are indeed hard to distinguish.

  3. Those are some very nice gulls and ducks. I think Smelt is a great name too, and perhaps that explains why the Merganser is also called the fish duck, and is rarely eaten by humans who don't like smelly fish.

  4. I 'smelt' a number of puns, but they all stunk!