Ross’s Gull – 1981 first for Wales

Rhodostethia roseaGwylan Rossvagrant

The Ross’s Gull has a disjointed Arctic breeding distribution and largely winters in the far north but a few occasionally wander further south.

An adult was at Fishguard Harbour on the 15th and 16th February 1981. It was found by Jack Donovan, while leading a field meeting of the Mid-Pembrokeshire Section of the Dyfed Wildlife Trust. Perched initially on a hand rail by the lifeboat station amid a group of Black-headed Gulls, it flew off into the harbour.

It was relocated the following day, walking on the sands of the inner harbour but shortly afterwards took off, gained height and departed northwards. This was the first recorded occurrence in Wales.