Monday, September 22, 2008

Gulls, Gulls, Gulls!

Art joined me on a birding trip! We headed up to Hasty Brook Fiday night to camp for the night so we could be in Duluth by 0730 Saturday morning for a pelagic trip on Lake Superior.
Mike Hendrickson put the trip together. Maybe you remember that Deb from Sand Creek Almanac and I went on the same trip last fall. The weather Saturday was much nicer, although still pretty windy.
A little while into the trip Mike set Art up to do the chumming- tossing popcorn and day-old bread into the water to attract the gulls. Not being a birder, Art stuck out by being the only one without binoculars hanging around his neck. He was glad to have a job.
It didn't take long at all for the gulls to show up.
Mmmm... popcorn.

I was soon able to pick out the immature Herring Gulls from the more common Ring-billed Gulls. This one snatched up a piece of tasty bread.
Herring Gulls are bigger, and bulkier than Ring-billed Gulls.
Bombs away....
The Herring Gulls seemed to use their size advantage when going after the food.

At times it reminded me of a choreographed dance.
Living here in the city most the the gulls I see are circling the fast food parking lots looking for garbage. Watching the birds on this trip gave us a wonderful view of their amazing gracefulness and acrobatic abilities in flight.
Here's a good view of a mature Herring Gull on the left and an immature Herring Gull on the right. I did get a great look at a few Bonaparte's Gulls. They look so much daintier than the rest. A Franklin's Gull flew in among the rest at one point. I missed it. I would have been a lifer.
Art got it.
Not fair.
A juvenile American White Pelican preened and rested on the rocks along a pier. Near the end of the four hour trip the winds picked up, the sky clouded and the temperature dropped a bit. By the time we got back to the dock Art and I were cold and wind-burned but we had a great time.

I got to talk to a few familiar faces and met some new folks. Art said he really enjoyed his first bird trip- not for the birds, but because he liked the boat. That's OK.

Thanks Mike, for putting this trip together and for your help in confirming my id's. I'm looking forward to this winter's Sax Zim Bog Festival of Birds.


ivars krafts said...

Great pictures, Lynne! Excellent shots of the gulls!! Tell Art that when I went on the boat, I didn't have binoculars either -- just the camera.

Bird Girl said...

When I clicked on that first picture and looked at that gull's eye - I was amazed at how beautiful that picture is!!! All the pictures are great - you sure do get around in the birding world and it's fun to see what you get to shoot!

Linda in Erie said...

I never would have imagined that was a juvenile of the same bird! How exciting for Art to join you on your birding trip. Those photos of the birds in flight and taking off are awesome. The wings are so graceful looking. You and Art look very cold. I think electric socks and pocket warmers are called for on trips like that.

Jayne said...

How fun! And how cool that Art went with you too! The gull shots are wonderful Lynne. :c)

Shellmo said...

Fantastic shots of the gulls in flight!!

Ruth said...

Did you take those pictures on the boat? I find it hard to get a picture on a moving boat...a moving object taking a picture of a moving target. Excellent images! My husband would like the boat ride too.

Eve said...

The pictures are great Lynne!! Glad Mike had a good time! Too bad about the missed lifer!
Hey check out the pelican picture...I almost freaked out! At first I thought that was a sea lion just above him to the right!! Ha Ha!! I had to enlarge the photo to see!! That would have been quite a trick up there on Lake Superior!

Lynne said...

Ivars- Thanks! Art's not the kind of guy who minds sticking out.

Bird Girl- I came away with a greater appreciation for the beauty of gulls.

Linda- It was fun to have Art along for the first time. We didn't get too cold until near the end of the four hours. My feet got soaked a couple of times so I think electric socks would have shorted out!

Jayne- Thank you! Art and I enjoyed different things on the trip. Too bad he got my lifer!

Shellmo- Thank you. I took LOTS of pictures hoping a few would be keepers.

Ruth- Yes, all of these pix were on the boat. It was a bit of a challenge.

Eve- A sea lion in Lake Superior!! That would be news!

Deb said...

I'm glad your trip was a little less wild than last year's!

It turns out The Hermit had told me wrong--his workshop is this coming Saturday, not last Saturday! I could kill him! I'll get revenge though... like skipping our anniversary to go to the Sax Zim Festival maybe? :)

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely pictures, even though I'm not terribly fond of gulls. You made them look beautiful. What a great trip you must have had.

Marsha said...

You really got some great photos and I recognize lots of the background from Duluth. How cool that Art joined might make him into a birder yet.

KatDoc said...

Great pictures! I was afraid for a minute you were going to ask for ID help on the gulls - thank goodness you didn't or I would have been lost.

What a great sport Art is for taking the trip with you. You can tell him he is a real SOB (Spouse Of Birder), LOL!

Electric socks - sounds like a fine idea, except when there is water involved. I may have to look into buying some.


Mary said...

LOL! Michael would have eaten the popcorn and loved the boat, too. He might have asked to do a little fishing!

Your shots are downright fantastic, Linne. I have not been able to get birds in flight - perhaps because I don't get near the water often enough.

You did good, girl!

I like gulls. Even the ones that poop a lot and eat garbage on the beach.


Anonymous said...

We have to agree with Ivars, Excellent gull shots.

Lynne said...

Deb- Really!!??!! I want to go back to the Sax-Zim Festival this winter too.

ncmountainwoman- I found the glls to be quite beautiful too. Changed my opinion.

Marsha- Duluth's a terrific town. I don't think there's much hope of Art becoming a birder though.

Katdoc- I had to ask Mike to confirm my gull id's. I'm not too god at them. Art's been called an SOB before...

May- I just got lucky with the flight shots. Art did sneak a few fists-ful of popcorn!

Mike and Lizette- Thank you very kindly!

Susan Gets Native said...

Holy Crap, Lynne! When did you become a professional photographer??????

Let's hear it for Art, that lovable SOB!

(I am totally going to use that with Geoff now. "Geoff, you are such an S(pouse) O(f) B(irder)" )


RuthieJ said...

Looks like a fun day Lynne--especially compared to what you endured last year! Your photos are amazing! The last pic of you and Art is the best!

Leedra said...

Looks like you had a good photography trip. Great photos!

NatureWoman said...

How nice to see you and Art together, and glad to see he enjoyed the bird trip!

Leedra said...

Off and on and go to the site for this New River birding event. Think and then move on. Just went, looked at the dates, the twins are due May 6. You know how twins are, they don't tend to wait on their date, they are anxious to meet us. Guess that settles that, once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Great photographs especially of the that really handsome guy in the yellow hood!

Thanks for coming along!!

Hopefully next year the weather will be less windy.

Mike Hendrickson

Larry said...

Cool Pelican! I like the photo with the whole group of gulls too.-Glad tou had better weather this time around.

Kathiesbirds said...

What a lot of fun! Looks like it's time for hot chocolate! Brrrr!