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Ross’s Gull: this little beauty makes even gulls seem sexy!

Ross's Gull, Kinsale, Co. Cork
Ross’s Gull, Kinsale, Co. Cork

For many a budding birder, myself included,  gulls can be an absolute nightmare!

There’s just so much plumage variation across the different year classes, and lots of potential overlap between species in sub-adult gulls that accurate identification can be extremely taxing, and scanning gull roosts in (inevitably) low light in an attempt to pick out something different soon becomes odious.

But this weekend I twitched a bird that it has to be said, makes gulls seem “sexy”.

This little Ross’s gull — a rare vagrant from the high Arctic — has been hanging around Kinsale, Co. Cork for two weeks now. I dipped (failed to see) it a week ago with Galley Birding. So yesterday, when opportunity knocked, I suggested Kinsale for a family afternoon drive, and while my better half took the girls around the galleries and shops, I made a beeline for the pier by the Trident Hotel, one of the gull’s favoured haunts.

After a tense half-hour or so scanning passing gulls, bingo! There it was… flying right overhead in all it’s peachy-pink glory! What a super little bird… even if it is a gull!

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