Many of the Canada Geese that normally inhabit the park have departed; I am not sure where they went, but only about 100 remained yesterday. On the other hand, gulls seem to be more numerous; a mixed species flock numbering well over 1000 was loafing on the river, either on exposed mudflats or on ice. I estimated about a third were Ring-billed Gulls, and reported 400 Ring-billed Gulls, 800 Herring Gulls, and 17 Great Black-backed Gulls (a species that is easier to pick out and count than the other ones). A flock that large is likely to have some odd gulls, but unfortunately viewing conditions were not favorable for picking them out.
The only songbird I saw in significant numbers was European Starling. One large flock and a few smaller ones flew overhead. There was also a flock of about 15 American Robins, feeding on what little bare ground they could find around the trunks of bushes and trees. Very few other songbirds were present. The river held about a dozen Common Mergansers, a beautiful species that I never tire of seeing.
Overall today was not as productive as I would have liked. This week's snowstorm could produce some interesting results for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Some species might virtually disappear from areas affected by the storm, but there will probably be some strange concentrations elsewhere. It may end up being a good weekend for feeder watching.