Tuesday 3 March 2009


A birder who I have not met before called Julian Wyllie (who has lived on Sherkin island for the last 5 years) was coming over this morning from Sherkin to Baltimore (County Cork) to stock up on groceries. As the ferry was pulling into the harbour at Baltimore he saw a first-year IVORY GULL circling around over the dock. Julian immediately informed others of his major find. After a while during which he borrowed a mobile phone from the shop and got one or two images. we all arrived in the afternoon from 2.30 onwards.

Frustratingly, there was no sign of the bird and after checking gulls over near Sherkin (where a single Glaucous was espied) Aidan Duggan and I went up to the fish factory and checked the gulls there (with a single Glaucous and 2 Iceland Gulls present) and about that time most of the gulls there moved down to the harbour. We went back to the harbour and Julian and Mick Hartnett had the IVORY GULL again in front of them. It spent the next hour or more flying around the dock and alongside two big foreign trawlers tied up at the dock. The foreign crewmen (Latvian maybe ?) let us on the boats where we were afforded crippling views as it flew around with other gulls and occasionally dropped down to the surface to pick up a morsel or two. After an hour of this I was so cold I just had to leave.

Pete Wolstenholme