COLD weather may be sweeping Britain at the moment but the frosty temperatures seemed more like a balmy afternoon to this recent visitor to the Uists, who is more at home in the Arctic tundra.
An Ivory Gull was recently spotted at Clachan-a-Luib, North Uist – a wandering far from its usual home on the edge of the Arctic ice pack.
The Clachan bird appeared to be a young adult due to its white plumage and faint dark spots. This bird’s plumage is said to be shared only by three other of the world’s polar seabirds and they can often be confused with each other. However its short black legs and greyish bill with yellowish tip marked this particular visitor out as an Ivory Gull.
The gulls usually feed on carcasses and it will often prowl around seal grounds scavenging for placental remains, as well as eating walrus and polar-bear excrement.
With no such tasty titbits available in North Uist the Ivory Gull did not linger long on our shores and moved on to pastures new after two days. It may be a while before another of its kind is seen here as the last Ivory Gull to visit these islands was spotted in Lewis nine years ago.
hebrides news learned today