Most of us thought the Gull-billed Tern had finally had enough and moved on - no reports for nearly a week - but no!
There it was again at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre today, even roosting in the nearby gravel car park at Fels Hotel, site of the world famous Rose of Tralee Festival, held annually in a rather large marquee in, let's face it, a gravel car park. Though they do put a few nice potted plants about the place and a good bit of red carpet.
Yes, this out-of-season super-rarity was standing on the very ground where this remarkable event happened. The very spot where Lovely Lady, Edel Buckley from Cork, bragged it up, revealing "...I am treasurer of the Donoughmore Tug of War Club.", and
Just-as-Lovely Lady, Orla Gately from Roscommon, betrayed her raw, naked ambition by telling us, "My main achievements include receiving June Employee of the Month in Hodson Bay Hotel in 2011 where I worked as a waitress." (More here)
There was some sort of sprat run in the nearby river, perhaps explaining the tern's interest upriver from Blennerville. It was too late for the Rose of Tralee in any case.
Gull-billed Tern, Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, Tralee, 19th February 2015 (David O'Connor).
Great record for the Wetlands Centre. Only another ten days to beat the record for the longest staying Gull-billed Tern, and might it even grab the 'first for December' accolade? It survived the two ferocious recent storms, so both seem possible again.