With warmer than normal temperatures forecast to continue this winter,
there probably has never been a better prospect for large numbers of
wintering gulls in the Duluth-Superior area. Well over 5,000 Herring Gulls
are still in the area with at least 6 additional species seen in recent
weeks (the 1st-cycle California Gull from 12/06 has not been refound as far
as I know). Approximately 100 Ring-billed Gulls are still lingering; in a
normal winter we are lucky to get even one on the Duluth CBC (which will be
held one week from today).
Today (12/12) I spent almost 3 hours at the Superior Entry with Robbye
Johnson, Ted Keyel, and Jan & Larry Kraemer. Afterwards, I estimated the
number of gulls at the Superior Landfill before carefully counting and
identifying nearly 1,000 gulls at Canal Park. Substantial numbers of
Herring and presumably other gull species at WLSSD are not included in the
following totals. For Thayer’s and less common species, individual birds
were carefully distinguished by plumage within each age class and most were
documented by photos. The following totals are based on my own observations
and may need to be adjusted after Robbye, Ted, and Jan review all of their
Thayer’s Gull — *Record high Minnesota count of 24 *(plus 2 more at the
landfill). Six 1st-cycle, six 2nd-cycle, five 3rd-cycle, and seven adults.
Iceland Gull — *Total of 6 individuals*, all at Superior Entry (we also saw
one Thayer’s/Iceland intergrade). Two 2nd-cycle, one advanced 2nd-cycle,
one 3rd-cycle, one adult. This ties the 2nd-highest Minnesota count.
Glaucous Gull — Two 1st-cycle and one adult at Superior Entry. Second-cycle
at Canal Park.
Great Black-backed Gull — Three 1st-cycle at Superior Entry. Two 1st-cycle
at Canal Park, one of which was at the Entry earlier in the day. The adult
GBBG that’s been seen regularly at Canal Park was not seen today.
Peder H. Svingen
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