Monday 4 March 2024

Listen to the Niggle

I should be old enough to know better. If something about a bird is niggling you you there's probably a very good reason for it! For the first time today I was able to watch the 'Kumlien's' in good, flat light. Still very distant but I just couldn't see anything other than a Herring Gull. The head and bill had always bothered me but I always convinced myself that it was just the angle or artefact of the light and/or long distance. The truth is it rarely looked long-winged, always looked too long in the leg and mostly looked too long in the bill. The plumage always looked pretty spot on for Kumlien's to my eye but I always knew I was making judgements based on long-range photos and long-range views in mostly poor light. A dangerous game to play with gulls and, as I said at the start,  at my age I should know better. So for me it's now a 99.9% Herring Gull, albeit a very leucistic one. I'd really love to be proved wrong.
Otherwise - c230+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese plus a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose off Mudbank with a newly-arrived flock of 15+ Pale-bellied Brent Geese on the far side of Cockle Sands.

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