Finding shelter from the storm

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  • Rare visitor: tThis purple gallinule has spent the past month riding out the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    Rare visitor: tThis purple gallinule has spent the past month riding out the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

  • A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

  • A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

  • A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

  • A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    A Bonaparte’s gull spotted sheltering from the storm at Spittal Pond (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)


A Smith’s Parish nature reserve has become home to unusual visitors seeking shelter from the stormy weather.

A flock of 17 Bonaparte’s gulls were spotted at Spittal Pond on Tuesday, with another five at the Causeway in St George’s.

Andrew Dobson, president of the Bermuda Audubon Society, said: “These Bonaparte’s gulls have arrived this week at Spittal Pond to take shelter from the storm. They are regular visitors to Bermuda but not often in these numbers. A small, graceful gull, they were feeding in a tern-like fashion over Spittal Pond.”

The birds are named after Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a French ornithologist and distant relative of emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and are the smallest gulls commonly found in North America.

They usually spend winter in the southeast United States.

Another rare visitor at Spittal Pond is a purple gallinule, which has been seen over the past month.

The purple gallinule, usually found in shallow wetlands in North America, is a large, noisy, brightly coloured bird.

According to the Audubon Guide to North American Birds, it nods its head when swimming and flies short distances with its legs dangling.

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Published Mar 8, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 8, 2018 at 6:48 am)

Finding shelter from the storm

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