James Lowen 

She - and unabashed larophile Phil Saunders assures me that her relatively small size and chunky bill implies she is Princess Caspian rather than Prince - showed rather splendidly. I had no bread, and needed none. Just a tummy button packed with sand. And so I papped away until my camera battery became so disappointed with me that it died. (Please don't accuse me of being an amateur and not bringing a spare battery; both my chargers have failed this week, and I am waiting for delivery of a £300 replacement. FFS. Unexpected costs 'n all that.)

Looking at my photos, Josh Jones reckons this is the same bird that he photographed here in late October 2017, as a first-winter. How he knows that is above my pay grade. But pleasing, nevertheless, that it has returned. May it laugh at all-comers for the winter to come.


19 Sep 2018  Prince(ss) Caspian

My daughter is presently well into the Chronicles of Narnia films - can you tell? In an astonishing display of how the mightily opinionated can fall, I was today caught lying full-length on the sand (a substrate and substance I abhor) photographing a large white-headed gull (a creature - no, more a Kreacher - about which I recently pontificated in less than generous terms). I was nearing the end of the second of two walks that I was researching today for a forthcoming book on - perhaps unsurprisingly - Norfolk Walks. I had walked (and birded) Horsey - where the best was a Chiffchaff and 95 Mediterranean Gulls (proper gulls, those). I had cheekily birded Waxham (not a sausage). I had walked (and birded) between Overstrand and Waxham (the best, another Chiffchaff) and was on the return leg when I made the mistake of scanning a few gulls on Cromer east beach. I then committed the heinous crime of identifying one of them as a second calendar-year Caspian Gull. I then decided that I ought to photograph it - because that's what I do when I am not writing about how sh*t large white-headed gulls are. Hence the sand-covered clothes and the devastation of any residual ego.