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Category Archives: Ring-billed Gull

My wife always carries some peanuts when we go down to Canal Park in Duluth to watch the ships. Between ships she feeds the gulls peanuts. It’s great fun to watch them.

We were just arriving in Duluth and we noticed the Eeborg was about to enter the harbor so we drove down to watch it come in.



While we were in Canal Park I noticed these two Ring-billed Gulls sitting on a lamp post. They were strategically  located by the popcorn wagon.



When we were in Duluth Looking for the Ivory Gull we encountered a variety of birds in Canal Park.


Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Thayers Gull

Thayers Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull



Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

I should say a walk along the disappearing Park Point Beach. With the high water levels in Lake Superior the beach is only a shadow of what it was a few years ago. My wife and I usually take a bag along with us and police the beach on the way back from our walks. We did receive a lot of compliments but noticed no one else was picking up.





I spent the better part of an afternoon watching the ships enter and leave the Duluth Harbor. The Cason J Gallaway came in fighting heavy waves.


While wafting for the next ship I spent my time watching the Gulls flying around in front of the Maritime Museum.


When the James R. Barker exited the harbor the waves were almost breaking over the bow


There are a lot of Ring-billed Gulls hanging out around Canal Park and Park Point.Ring-billed Gull 14-5-_0133

My wife found some crackers and fed a couple of them on the beach. That started a battle among the gulls.Ring-billed-Gulls-14-5-_0011


Later in the day we ran across a family that set up a “gull trap” using some French fries as bate.Ring-billed-Gulls-14-5-_0112

The last time my wife and I were in Duluth we took a long hike along the beach at Park Point. It was a cool day and not a lot of people were around. We mainly encountered dog walkers. One young couple had found a large tree root that they were attempting to carry back to their car. It looked like it would have made a nice coffee table if the top was cut off of it. Here are a few shots from the afternoon.

We took our spring road trip to the Minnesota North Shore this past weekend. We usually try and make the trip in early June just before the motel rates go up. On Friday we closed on a condo in downtown Duluth so we had an exciting and stressful day. After the closing we had a great pizza at Pizza Luce. We then walked over to the Sons of Norway Hall to see “Last day at Lambeau” about the divorce of Bret Farve from the Green Packers. It was one of the films showing at the Duluth Film Festival. It’s a great documentary will worth seeing if it has a showing near you. It was even a little more exciting because of the mix of Minnesota Viking and Green Bay Packer Fans in attendance.


The next day we decided to take a walk along the Duluth beach. It’s Just across the lift bridge and forms the eastern edge of Minnesota Point (known as Park Point) the point is 7 miles long and when combined with the Wisconsin Point beach forms the longest freshwater sandbar in the world. We decided this would make a nice morning hike. It was a warm day with the breeze blowing along the shore. It was even warm enough for some folks to go in swimming which is unusual for this time of year and probably for any time of year because Lake Superior is known for being very cold. Objects on the beach always interest me and offer a great subject to photograph while walking along beaches.

Swallowtail and Friend

At the start of the walk we found a large dead fish. I think it was a Lake Sturgeon. It was a popular attraction. Milo, a local dog, was interested in it. What caught my attention was a swallowtail butterfly that was attracted to it.

Wood Patterns

We stopped to asked a young man some questions about the black stuff we had seen along the beach in an earlier visit. He was very helpful. Apparently it was wood chips that had washed out into the lake from the Saint Louis River or purged from ships ballasts.

Box Kite

Turns out the young man had just graduated from pharmacy school in Duluth and was starting to work at a local hospital. Soon his brother and mother came over and we talked for about a half an hour about great things to do in Duluth, hikes, skiing the senior program at the university etc. The title for the blog came from the mother who said she told her friends that she just bought a place on the beach in Duluth, Minnesota. It seems a bit of an oxymoron since most folks who visit Duluth aren’t aware there is a beach in Duluth and Duluth is not  associated with beach property. One of the sons and his son were flying a box kite on the beach.

Ringed-billed Gull

There were a number of birds along the beach. I took a few photos of some Ringed-billed Gulls as they swam just off shore. They can be found all along the beach.

More Park Point photos can be found at my website.

Over the weekend my wife and I drove up to Duluth, Minnesota on business. We decided to splurge and stay at one of the motels on Canal Park. There was going to be a full moon and staying in the Park would allow us to easily photograph the moonrise in the evening and sunrise the next morning.

We had an early dinner then headed out to photograph the moonrise. The Photographers Ephemeris indicated that I should be able to get a shot of the full moon rising over the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Several years ago I had taken a photo of the moon rising over the South Breakwater Outer Lighthouse and was hoping for a matching shot. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and the moonrise was covered by clouds. This is the moonrise shot I took several years ago. We wandered around the harbor entrance photographing the Aerial Lift Bridge and the night lights of Duluth.

South Breakwater Moonrise


Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth Lights

Earlier in the evening we had noticed there were a lot of lights in the Bayfront Festival Park area so we walked over to investigate. It turns out that workers were in the process of installing the Bentleyville Tour of Lights which is a popular holiday attraction in Duluth. Although the project was a work in progress enough of it was installed to provide an outstanding light display. Since there were only a few people around it was easy to get some good photographs.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

The plan was to photograph the sunrise the next morning. After all this was one of the reasons we splurged on a Canal Park motel. When the time came for sunrise I was still sleeping and really didn’t want to get out of bed. However, I glanced out the window and noticed a bright orange sky and made a mad dash for my photo gear. I was out the door in about five minutes. The sunrise was amazing as I hope the photos below capture the amazing light.

South Breakwater Outer Light Sunrise

North Breakwater Light Sunrise

North Breakwater Light sunrise


Breakwater Lights

After breakfast we went back to the harbor area to take a few more photos. We were fortunate to be on the south breakwater when the  James R. Barker exited the harbor with a load of coal. We then spent some time walking along the Park Point beach before heading for home.

South Breakwater Inner Light

James R. Barker

Wood Patterns

Ringed-billed Gull

More photos can be found on my website.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Gile Flowage Sunrise

On Monday we were up early to catch the sunrise at Gile flowage outside of Hurley, Wisconsin. This is a great place to photograph the sunrise because county highway D runs through the flowage allowing you to photograph the sun rising over the flowage (right) as well as the front lit trees (left).

Ring-billed Gull

After photographing the flowage we headed toward Ashland, Wisconsin on highway 2. The trees along the route will likely be close to peak next weekend. We photographed this Ring-billed Gull on the dock at Bayview Park in Ashland. It allowed us to walk right up to it and didn’t make any attempt to get away.

We continued to Superior on highway 2. Again the leaves likely will be near peak next weekend. The trees closer to the lake will likely peak a week later.

Tettegouche Camp Dock

Once in Minnesota we headed north on highway 61 with our first stop Tettegouche State Park. After consulting the ranger we decided to drive inland and hike to Tetegouche Camp. This is a shot across Mic Mac Lake from the camp boat dock.

After our hike we continued north along highway 61 to Grand Marais. The trees from Duluth north were not very colorful. They are mainly birch and the birch are dying, they are also being stressed by the drought along the North Shore. The strong winds of last week didn’t help matters. The water levels in the streams are very low. Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera when we walked over to Gooseberry Falls. Given the fact that the parking lot was full I figured you wouldn’t be able to get a photo of the falls without people. I forgot that older folks don’t climb around the falls and the kids were in school.

Grand Marais Harbor Sunset

After a great dinner at My Sister’s we headed out to the harbor for some sunset photography. We just made it as the sun was setting. We walked out onto the breakwater where I took this shot, about a half hour after sunset, of the lighthouses with the Sawtooth Mountains in the background.

Grand Marais Harbor Sunrise

In the morning we were back at the harbor for some sunrise photography. I didn’t have a chance to scout out Artists Point for morning shots so I decided to shoot from the parking lot. This is the sun rising over the east side of the parking lot.

Juvenile Herring Gull

We had just finished shooting and I had already put my gear away when my wife asked me if I had ever seen a gull in a tree? I said no why was she asking? Well there is one in the Mountain Ash tree. I got my camera back out and took a shot of this Juvenile Herring Gull eating the berries on the Mountain Ash.

We then drove down to Oberg Mountain. This is a popular hiking destination in the fall because of the great views of the interior colors. We weren’t disappointed. The colors were some of the best we have seen. There were quite a few leaves already down but those that remained were worth the hike. We were a little surprised at the large number of people on the mountain. Normally we would expect to see these numbers on a weekend not during the week. This is a panorama shot from one of the viewpoints looking north into the interior.

Oberg Mountain

Heartbreak Hill

We took a couple of drives inland to view the great maple colors. This was taken at the top of heartbreak hill on the maple leaf drive outside of Tofte.  It got its name from the early logging days when loggers found their hearts were broken when their team could not make it up the hill.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.

We then headed home. It would have been nice to stop at Betty’s Pies but the place was packed both times we passed it.