Most of my birdy outings are spent with just my Bushnell’s for company. As optical aids, they are fine, but they don’t fill the void that a birding companion, or mentor might. They don’t join in with the jolly banter that lubricates a day and they offer no advice or opinions on a tricky identification problem. Therefore I have had to make my own aide-memoires for choosing between similar species.

KEN 22Jun15 Lesser Black-backed Gull 01 - Copy

When a black-backed gull needs identifying, my first question to myself is “what colour is the undercarriage?” This is not always easy to see when the bird is in flight, but if the bird is grounded and you can see anything yellow beneath, you have a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Once you’ve got that nailed, it becomes ridiculously easy.

Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.