The October 2016 Bird Count

I have wandered along the Parry Sound waterfront and the North Shore Rugged Trail often enough to realize that we have a rather large population of gulls. The question of how many gulls there are was raised one evening when hiking along the North Shore Rugged Trail with my camera. As the gulls flew by, heading I imagine to Gull Island, I thought there must be hundreds of them, but, I wondered, how many hundreds?

Heading back to Gull Island

Heading back to Gull Island

The opportunity to get a count presented itself earlier this month as I was riding my bike, with camera, back from the Smelter Wharf. It was early enough that they had not yet started heading out to Gull Island. Starting from the Smelter Wharf along the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail I was able to capture images of them all the way back to the Parry Sound harbour. They were for the most part hanging out at Waubuno Beach and the Coast Guard base, with a few out on the water, and a dozen or so sitting on the rock out from the water treatment plant.

Just hanging out. We like company.

Just hanging out. We like company.

The number? About 370 by my count. The actual number could be as much as 20% higher, but not any lower. Counting gulls is not that simple as I couldn’t approach them as close as I would have liked because they would have moved, confusing the numbers. The majority of them were on the Coast Guard helipad deck which I could not approach, and with a low viewing angle it meant that that some gulls were blocked by others in front of them. It’s also possible that that there were more in other locations but I found none down at Parry Sound harbour or along the waterfront between the harbour and Sail Parry Sound.

Sittin' on the rock of the bay Watching the waves roll away Just sittin' on the rock of the bay Wastin' time.

Sittin' on the rock of the bay
Watching the waves roll away
Just sittin' on the rock of the bay
Wastin' time.

So as you contemplate the troubles caused by the two or three gulls attacking your bags on garbage day be happy that the Town isn’t facing a Hitchcock style Birds situation. There are more than enough of them to terrorize the town.