It sure has been windy again.....this time it is due to the gales of November!
Late yesterday there was a Sabine's Gull at Erieau and over night, I got word of a Franklin's Gull that had been seen there as well. Knowing that today was supposed to be very windy still, or even more so, with periodic rain, it seemed to make sense to check out this lakeside harbour area. So morning plans were made and I arrived at Erieau just before 8 a.m. The marine forecast was for westerly winds at about 40 knots (72km/hr) and it certainly felt that way. Combined with temperatures at about 7C and falling gradually as the day wore on, it was cold! I hadn't been this bundled up since last winter!
There were a few spots slightly sheltered, so we took advantage of them. Steve and Jim had already been there for awhile, and had seen possibly as many as 5 Franklin's Gulls. There was one resting on the water at the end of the dock to greet me right away, although true to form, the masses of Bonies it was hanging out with decided to get up and swirl about, so I didn't get its photo. We remained in the area for the better part of an hour, and were entertained by this constant upheaval of Bonies, before they returned to the water, sometimes flying within a metre or so of us.
The gulls seemed to be heading towards the recreational marina slip, so it was time to check that area out. Almost immediately one of the group noticed that there was a Franklin's Gull sitting on the water, but before one could get the camera on it, it decided to fly.
I almost immediately noted an adult, non-breeding, Lesser Black-backed Gull. It was resting on the water at first, but moved up to the pier on the far side of the channel. But a large wave that went over the pier caused all the gulls to vacate for a few moments before most returned.
I checked the recreational marina slip from time to time, and on one occasion, noted an adult Little Gull. This image shows the almost entirely pale gray upper wing. It was likely the same bird as we saw before. I was a little surprised that there was only the one LIGU today, as normally up to half a dozen might be expected under these conditions and at this time of year. Maybe tomorrow??
As they flew up and down the harbour and marina, they seemed oblivious to the frequent rain, wet snow and sometimes the fine sleet particles that roared through. This image shows the mix of rain and wet snow.
The weather may settle down a bit over the next couple of days, but who knows what these wild winds from the west have blown in.