Ivory Gull, Patrington Haven
The ‘supply’ of scarce and rare birds in 2013 has indeed been plentiful and has continued, right to the year end. In mid December there was an unprecedented influx of Ivory Gull into the UK. As per usual, most of the handful of sightings came from Scotland and the North East, but one individual made it as far south as the Humber estuary, where we caught up with it, just before Christmas. During it’s 10 day stay it was fed by local residents and visiting birders on fish scraps – presumably an acceptable temporary substitute for the carcasses of Whale and Seal – it’s more usual food source up in the high Arctic, where they originate. To some, these rather unusual larids, have a passing resemblance to pigeons – but to me they have much more of an air of nobility about them, with their distinctive ermine-like plumage.
A couple more shots of this lovely bird – contender for ‘bird of the year’: