Freezing at the Frolic

Last weekend I attended the Gull Frolic in Winthrop Harbor, for the usual reasons: something birding-related to do during the winter and an opportunity to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time.

So yeah, it was cold. And windy. And there were a couple gulls that weren’t Herring Gulls. And some ducks here and there. One turned out to be rather rare – a female Long-Tailed Duck, formerly known as Old Squaw. Maybe there were more gull species later, but I had to do my Saturday food shopping and cleaning and get up early Sunday to sing in the choir, so I left in the early afternoon.

Herring Gulls with a Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull
Greater Scaup
Herring Gull and Thayer’s Gull

There was a lot of ice on the lake, which you might be able to see in some of the longer shots. And it was cloudy overall. Sunshine might have made me feel a bit warmer.

So I’m amazed I got any shots at all. I remember only trying to hold onto the lens and stay focused, come what may. Removing my gloves now and then to sharpen the focus and then giving up. But the camera caught enough of the action and I’m thankful for that. I find the gulls entertaining, even if they’re practically all Herrings!

However windy and cold it was last weekend is nothing compared to today’s wind storm that has been going on since this morning and will continue into the wee hours of the night, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Every once in a while the wind positively roars. I don’t know how the birds in the yard managed it but they eventually emptied the feeders today. Battening down the hatches and thankful we are safe and sound. Looks like the wind is ushering in very cold weather again. Oh, but the days are getting longer, right?

11 thoughts on “Freezing at the Frolic

  1. Just looking at your pictures I’m feeling cold! I just came back from a week vacation in Florida, with 85ΒΊ F at the beach. We lucked out because it rained heavily in Georgia the whole week!
    I met someone from Chicago in Florida, he said the Arctic Vortex was brutal for him. Take care! πŸ™‚

  2. It sure looks cold up your way, Lisa, great shots for being that cold and your camera handling it. I’m still working on my gull IDs, I bought “Gulls Simplified” (Dunne/Karlson) that HJ reviewed on his blog. It’s helping, but oh my, the juvenile stages make it worse!

    • Thanks, Donna. Yeah, I bought “Gulls Simplified” too and picked up some pointers, but I have to review every year anyway because I forget everything. I could spend all my time just identifying Herring Gull stages. πŸ™‚

  3. What a great excuse to drag yourself out, but it aways seems to fall on some of the coldest days of the winter! At least the wind missed it by a few days.
    I also keep telling myself the days are getting longer. Mostly I can’t tell for all the clouds, but every now and then a ray of sunshine get through and it gives a little hope.

    • Now it’s hard to believe we set the clocks ahead on Saturday. Getting ready for the next arctic blast. As for the Frolic, generally the colder the better for the gull watching. I suppose even the gulls are desperate for something to do in the cold.

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