Two adorable chicks have made history as the first birds of their kind to hatch on Scottish soil.
The little gull species have reportedly nested in the UK before – but never in Scotland.
And this is the first time that any fluffy chicks have been born in Britain.
The nest, at RSPB Scotland’s Loch of Strathbeg nature reserve, is tucked away in a far corner of the island hidden by undergrowth.
Little gulls are the world’s smallest species of gull and normally breeds in northern Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia and Siberia.
Weighing not much more than a blackbird, they are often thought to more closely resemble terns than larger gulls.
So it is not surprising that they have set up home at Loch of Strathbeg, a popular tern nesting island.
130 pairs of feisty common tern parents who share the island are now working together to drive off any intruders that they see as a threat to the young gulls.
Richard Humpidge, RSPB Scotland Sites Manager, said: “We were really excited to discover that the little gulls had successfully hatched.
“It wasn’t long ago that the island was home to just 10 pairs of common terns that struggled to raise any chicks.
“Four years, hundreds of hours of help from volunteers and 10 tons of shingle later, there’s more than 130 pairs of terns with lots of large tern chicks and now we’ve got two tiny little gull chicks as well – a first for Britain. We are really pleased.”
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