Ivory Gull - Pagophila eburnea

Friday 9 February 1990 an Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea was seen in the fishing harbour of Stellendam ZH by several birders who were not quite used to share records of rare birds with other people. Happily Frank Dröge visited the harbour in the late afternoon of Sunday 11 February. He phoned René Pop, but René was not at home so it was after sunset it became widely known. The next day a group of c 40 birders gathered and at first light the Ivory Gull was found to be present. The bird showed itself very well and was seen swimming on the water - a feature denied in the at that time known literature. It stayed till 19 February and was visited by dozens of birders, even from the UK, Germany and Belgium.

12 February 1990, Stellendam ZH; © Arnold Meijer.

12 February 1990, Stellendam ZH; © Arnoud van den Berg.

It was accepted as the second record for the Netherlands. The first record was on 9 February 1987 when a first-winter bird was seen on the island of Schiermonnikoog Fr, but this was supressed by the birder who found it.

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