Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sarnia Gullerama

With all the gulls around, the St. Clair River was the choice today.  Thousands of gulls are along the river and certainly the most I have seen on a consistent basis.  Unfortunately, with the brutally cold west to northwest wind, most were on the Michigan side in the lee of the shoreline. However, the Cathcart Park and Sarnia Bay area had many up close for perusal.
I got out at Cathcart Park, but ten minutes outside was all one could stand!

Ring-billed Gulls on the lawn

I saw nothing of note there, but lighting was harsh with the bright morning sun.

I continued on up to Sarnia and spent some time at Sarnia Bay at the south end of Centennial Park.  Again, ten minutes outside was all I could stand in the wind.

There was a good concentration of gulls, including white-winged gulls.  It was difficult to get a good count, but there were at least 23 Glaucous and 4 Iceland.

An adult Lesser Black-backed was also in the mix.
The hybrid Herring X Great Black-backed that has been around all winter was stirring things up.

It is a rather attractive gull, just as big as a Great Black-backed, but a dark gray mantle and clean head.

At one point, five Glaucous gulls were hassling it for a fish.

I checked other areas of the Sarnia waterfront.  A number of gulls were in the north slip until a Bald Eagle came along to flush them.
A White-winged Scoter was in the harbour, but in the very NE corner with some Mallards.  An odd spot for it!  I never got a photo though.
At the bridge, I spotted one of the Peregrine Falcons, and at the mouth of Lake Huron were only Long-tailed ducks.

I went back to Sarnia Bay and sat in the car for almost an hour.  Mike Bouman came along to look things over, but we kept to the cars, as the cold wind was unbearable.

This area sure has changed since the old days!  Here the Imperial Oil tankers used to tie up for winter.

Just though I would add a little history.

Lots of gulls were at the mouth of Talfourd Creek off Shell Oil as well, including a couple of white-winged.

Most of the ducks have left the river, so you will not find many!
Not much was at Sombra.  The ferry has been sidelined for a couple of days due to a massive power outage over in Marine City, Michigan.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little better for getting out for a walk!

Cathcart Mink on the Run!

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