Two Ring billed Gulls seem to have taken up residence on the islands. More typical of a North American marina they seem to be settling into the Scottish diet of deep fried nosh and bread quite well.
One has been around Stornoway for a few weeks now and has settled into a bit of a routine. Bar the occasional wander to Tesco and following the kids at lunch time as they dispatch chips round town, it can be found usually near the Lifeboat station.
It’s a bit smaller than the Herring Gulls, with a tri coloured bill, helping to indicate that it was fledged in 2010. The pink basal part being a vestigial from its juvenile plumage, while the black tip has changed to yellow to give a black ring separating the two colours. As time progresses the entire bill will become mustard yellow with a neat black band around it.
The other bird was found by Stuart Taylor in Balivanich, Benbecula at the weekend. It is a moulting juvenile, fledged this year, and seems quite settled cruising the council housing estate there.