ARCTIC WINDS BRINGS RARE VISITOR
On Thursday morning December 14th local birdwatcher Jim Dickson from Cairnbaan discovered a rare bird species, a Rossís Gull from the arctic north, at Ormsary, Loch Coalisport and has been causing quite a stir with ornithologists from across the country.
The last accepted record in this part of Scotland was on Islay in 1976, a brief sighting only, so this individual is proving to be very popular as it is quite fearless and very approachable.
This rare find is a first winter bird, having fledged somewhere in the high arctic earlier this summer either in Siberia or arctic Canada or Greenland and has probably arrived here after the severe weather we had last week. So far it looks like staying around for a few days and already has given birdwatchers a sight that is rarely experienced. One birdwatcher even contacted Jim via the internet from Germany on Friday and has flown to Scotland in order to see his first sighting of this tern-like gull in his 50 years of bird watching, having missed them on travels to Canada and vagrant records in Germany and Holland in past years.
The gull is only about a foot long however is an extremely hardy species normally closely associated with the pack ice flows. It is very likely that later in the winter it will head back north to the arctic, meantime it continues to give many interested folk a lot of pleasure.