White Winged Gulls

February gull watching was a bust here in Pittsburgh.

Yes, we’ve had some gulls, but in most years harsh weather freezes the Great Lakes and pushes the waterbirds south.  This makes for spectacular (and very cold!) birding at the Point in February when the “white winged gulls” visit our three rivers and roost overnight at the head of the Ohio. 

But it didn’t happen this year.  The rare gulls stayed north or they went somewhere else. 

This glaucous gull skipped the Great Lakes and went to Florida where Chuck and Joan Tague saw it during their annual North American Shorebird Survey in Volusia County on February 4th. 

See what I mean about white wings?  Here in Pittsburgh we were hoping for Iceland and Thayers gulls, too.

Oh well.  We can’t have both.  It’s either a harsh winter with white winged gulls or a mild winter without them. 

What should we should hope for next year?

(photo by Chuck Tague)

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