Whatcha Lookin’ At?

Watching gulls at the Point, Pittsburgh, PA Jan 31, 2015 (photo by Tim Vechter)

On icy winter afternoons, just before sunset, intrepid birders gather at Pittsburgh’s Point where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the Ohio.  Dressed in their warmest clothes they stand around on the ice gazing through their scopes and cameras.  On January 31, Tim Vechter was among them and took these pictures.

Whatcha lookin’ at?

Gulls.

The gull flock begins to gather at the Point (photo by Tim Vechter)

While the weather is icy, the gulls stay in Pittsburgh.

Each evening the flock starts small.  Birders wait and watch as the gulls gather. Among the thousands of ring-billed and hundreds of herring gulls there’s bound to be a couple of rare birds from the Arctic.

That evening Tim photographed two rarities including this glaucous gull identified by his bulky build, white wing tips (herring and ring-billed gulls have black wingtips) and pink legs.

Glaucous gull at Pittsburgh's Point, 31 January 2015 (photo by Tim Vechter)

As night falls the flock grows.

Gulls at Pittsburgh's Point at night, 31 January 2015 (photo by Tim Vechter)

But soon they’re too hard to see.

Time to go home.

 

(photos by Tim Vechter posted at Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club on Facebook)

1 thought on “Whatcha Lookin’ At?

  1. It’s been a great pleasure every sunrise and sunset recently to watch the gulls on my commute. In the morning and evening, I cross the Liberty Bridge. They are flying down the Mon in the morning, and on very good mornings I get to see them nearly intersect with the crows flying south, crossing the Mon. In the evening, I see the gulls flying back up the Mon, towards the Point. It frames my day perfectly. Thanks for your post!

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