Gulls at harbor have a following

By JOANNE GOETZ

Thank you for including the photos and mention of the thousands of gulls at the Dunkirk Harbor.

It has really been an exciting winter at the harbor with all of the gulls. The most abundant gull is the Ring-billed Gull. A Mew Gull would be very rare in the Dunkirk Harbor. Other gulls regularly seen are Herring and Great Black-backed. Glaucous, Iceland and Lesser Black-backed gulls have also been seen this winter.

Birders from around the area have also been flocking to the Dunkirk Harbor this winter to observe the gulls, as well as all of the other species present. Members of the Buffalo Ornithological Society, the Jamestown Audubon Society, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, as well as our local Lake Erie Bird Club visit the harbor frequently.

Some of the other birds observed include American Coots, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants and a great variety of ducks including Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser and Greater Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Surf and White-winged Scoters and others.

It has truly been an impressive sight to see all of the thousands of gulls this winter. At times hundreds of gulls will lift off the water creating a huge cloud of gulls. Very often if you scan the sky above the gulls you will discover a Bald Eagle leisurely circling above the gulls. Bald Eagles are frequently seen at the harbor.

With all of the birds and birders visiting the Dunkirk Harbor it has seemed like one big gull festival all winter long.

Joanne Goetz is secretary of the Lake Erie Bird Club.