It all started with Steve's Hawfinch Hysteria post the other day. I realised it was high time I got my finger out and made the effort to go and see one. I was working near Musbury this morning, so popped into the village and had a look near the church. I got okay views of two birds within about five minutes, but hung around a bit longer hoping for a better performance. When none was forthcoming I headed off to Seaton. Via the estuary...
At the moment Scilly is enjoying a little rush of Iceland Gulls, and what with all the unsettled weather we're having I am pretty sure one or two will be appearing on the Axe before long. I could see a bunch of big gulls on the grassy islands opposite Axmouth so pulled into the layby to have a quick look. From this vantage point the birds are some 400yards away but quite doable with bins for a white-winger. Anyway, no white-wingers, but...what's that rather white-headed 1st-wintery-looking thing right there? I was about to reach for my scope when I remembered I'd taken it out for the van's MOT last Friday and hadn't put it back. Agh! Bins alone weren't powerful enough and I just couldn't do anything with it. I considered phoning Steve, but didn't really want to have him out for what might be just a Herring Gull. So, as a last resort I unsheathed the old Lumix, wound it up to maximum zooms of every kind and fired away...
|It's the one with open wings|
|Now it's the blurry one left of centre. Best I got of the head shape. It's leggy too.|
|Primaries very dark; tertial pattern looks good; pale wing-bars on the coverts|
|Look at that lovely black tail band! Wing pattern looks pretty good too...|
I expect you've guessed by now. Yes, I cannot help thinking that I've let a Caspian Gull slip through my fumbly fingers. Personally I reckon these supremely dire photos actually present a reasonable case, but definitely not a watertight one!
Still, I'm open to persuasion...?