A recent photograph taken in Benbecula (18th December) has been very well received – it contains two rarities, both in the same shot – an Ivory Gull and a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale which sadly was washed up dead on the beach.
Ivory Gulls only turn up very infrequently here in Scotland. The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale was one of two found dead on Hebridean beaches this winter – the previous multiple stranding here occurred in 2008 (information from Outer Hebrides Biological Recording group). I had gone along to help to measure the whale and take a sample to be sent away for analysis by the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme. The Ivory Gull just appeared and landed on the whale while it was being measured! I believe it to be the same bird as had been seen the previous weekend.
So far the picture has been awarded Picture of the Week by BirdGuides, appeared in the Stornoway Gazette, accompanying an article written by Stuart Taylor of the RSPB and has also been requested by Birdwatch magazine and by the publishers of the magazine Dutch Birding.