Field Trip Report: November 7, Superior Entry Gull Watch Week 1
The first Duluth Audubon Society Gull Watch of the season took place Sunday, November 7. This was perhaps the warmest start to our gull watches, with temps in the comfortable 50’s. Our group of 9 gull watchers began the day with a surprise! During introductions, a group of 17 Bonaparte’s Gulls buzzed through Superior Entry, investigating the activity of the gulls we had attracted. This is a species that we tend to see during the gull watches, but are not a species attracted to the chum we toss out to attract other species!
We did fairly well with gulls, considering the warmer temps and lack of wind. We had 4 gull species, with Bonaparte’s, Ring-billed, Herring, and Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull. It was a great day to study plumage and work through each age class of the common gull species to our area, especially Ring-billed Gulls.
There were a few other nice birds for us at Superior Entry, outside of the gulls! We had a couple White-winged Scoters fly by with a group of Common Goldeneye and a third White-winged Scoter dropped into the Superior Entry after most folks had left for the day. Surprisingly, a Merlin buzzed the gulls while we were watching them! Merlins are fiesty, but gulls are outside of the prey available for these avian predators.
It was a great day to look at and learn about gulls! It will be exciting to see what else shows up for us this season! A full list of species seen during our trip is included below.
— Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus, DAS Vice President and Field Trip Coordinator
- White-winged Scoter
- Common Goldeneye
- Bonaparte’s Gull
- Ring-billed Gull
- Herring Gull
- Iceland (Thayer’s) Gull
- Common Loon
- Bald Eagle
- Blue Jay
- American Crow
- Common Redpoll