A flock of gulls takes off as a towboat passes, Duck Hollow, 17 Feb 2022 (photo by Jim McCollum)

26 February 2022

Despite Pittsburgh’s overcast skies, winter can be beautiful along the Monongahela River. Jim McCollum often stops by Duck Hollow to capture its many moods.

Ring-billed gulls visit Pittsburgh in winter and on migration to their nesting grounds at the Great Lakes and Canada. In February adult ring-bills look sharp in breeding plumage.

Ring-billed gull on a log tossed up by the river, Duck Hollow, 18 Feb 2022 (photo by Jim McCollum)

This month Pittsburgh had several big rain events: 1.02″ on 3 Feb, 1.60″ on 17 Feb, and 0.56″ on 22 Feb (plus an inch on the night of 24-25 Feb). When the flood waters receded this week they left behind an unusable gift on the remnant mud bank which never had a picnic table.

A “gift” from the river is deposited on the mud bank, Duck Hollow, 24 Feb 2022 (photo by Jim McCollum)

In addition to gulls Duck Hollow has visiting ducks in winter, including common mergansers (Mergus merganser).

Common mergansers at Duck Hollow, 31 Dec 2021 (photo by Jim McCollum)

And there are always ducks at Duck Hollow, the omnipresent mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

Male mallard lands on still water at Duck Hollow, 30 Dec 2021 (photo by Jim McCollum)

p.s. Duck Hollow (click link for location) is at the end of Old Browns Hill Road and across the river from Homestead, near the Homestead Gray’s Bridge (previously called the Homestead High Level Bridge).

(photos by Jim McCollum)


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