Which Bird is That?

It was hard yakka (work) walking on the beach this morning. The tide was extremely low, exposing the deep shelf of the sea-bed along this stretch. On account of the sharp slope, walking on the packed sand was tough on ankles and knees; but schlepping through the deep, dry sand of the flat reminded me of every kilo I was hauling 🙂

It’s Sunday, and lots of (socially-distanced) family groups were paddling and playing. Surfers had been and gone, leaving behind a paddle-boarder who didn’t look too sure of himself. A lone beach fisherman was trying his luck. Plenty of dog walkers around, and one group of three friends had five dogs off-leash (permitted). A very wet Airedale Terrier, a Collie doing excited somersaults, a Kelpie watching its master for instructions, plus a Labrador and a British Bulldog-cross bringing up the rear. Really, the only way to ensure those two kept up would be to keep yummy-smelling treats in your pocket.

There were six cargo ships anchored out to sea, presumably awaiting a berth, but looking at the shipping movements for Port Kembla, it looks like some may be waiting a few days.  Yachts under full canvas were also out for their fortnightly social sail.

All looked pretty normal except for three strangers on the shore. I’d guess these are in the gull species – but what type? I’ve never seen this bird before, let alone on our beach. And one was trying make a make a meal of cuttlefish, something you also don’t see often here.

Hopefully one of my erudite readers can identify the bird.

The closest I can find on the internet is a juvenile European Herring Gull, but that doesn’t make any sense at all. Obviously, my subjects were a little camera shy, so my photos were taken at a distance and enlarged.

Bad weather is predicted, and there is a Sheep Grazier’s alert for “cold temperatures, rain and showers and southerly winds” tomorrow. Not that we have any sheep to protect, but being right on the beach, and in a south-facing apartment (we have three aspects) we are bound to get hammered.

Around 4pm this afternoon, an early a squall with lightning passed through, and it created another sight we never see here – a waterspout.

No chance of getting a decent picture, it just looks like a thin line on the right-hand third. But I can tell you it was an exciting and impressive sight, twirling in its vortex. Gradually it was pulled up into the cloud, breaking into sections and dissipating as it went.

water spout

Bill says the beach will be a different shape after the storm has passed. Some years ago when we had a really big one, I figured half our sand ended up in New Zealand. I hope they send it back . . .

Oh! And this is what that sky looked like about five hours earlier –
sky

27 thoughts on “Which Bird is That?

  1. I see you mentioned the ‘social distancing’ folks. I read that over in New Zealand they called it ‘physical distancing’ and I thought that actually made more sense. Here our useless shower call it social distancing, and I can’t see it changing as all the messaging is so confusing and anymore changes and people will simply ignore all of it and pretend the virus has gone away. Very worrying times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may have heard we became complacent, and now Victoria has a challenge on its hands, that can just as easily creep to us in NSW. The latest genom sequencing is suggesting the core mistake occurred in transmission between an incoming traveller in hotel quarantine and a security guard charged with policing they stayed in their rooms. These guards are some our lowest paid workers, so often their living conditions are cramped and crowded. . . and it’s that easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I am reading there seems to be a link with outbreaks and folk living in less than the best conditions. If you need to go to work to pay for the basics and you’re on a zero hours contract then it’s hard to stay at home for 14 days and have no pay. Fingers crossed it doesn’t sneak into NSW.

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  2. Pingback: And the answer is . . . | The Reluctant Retiree

  3. I’ve got it, Gwen. Something about the way those birds posed for those pics gives them away. I suspect it’s Linda Evangelista gull, Elle Macpherson gull, Naomi Campbell gull
    and Kate Moss gull.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my brain former school-mate has hit on the correct answer. Maybe I’ll [publish it tomorrow as a solution~
      As soon as I saw that waterspout, I thought of my girlfriend who lives in Texas, and her tornado stories. And she keeps trying to entice me for a visit!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Derrick Knight suggests it does look like the English Herring Gull. They’ve had a long flight if that is the case. Another friend suggests they look like the ancient Dodo bird 🙂 Might be a bit arrogant to name it after myself. Not that that stopped the early explorers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Weather is certainly changing around the world. Here, we just keep getting hotter. Wish I could identify those birds, you have me curious now. Water spouts do occur here, if you’re sailing, you do have to watch out for those sudden summer thunderstorms.

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    • Despite the warnings, this morning has dawned bright sunny and warm. Which adds weight to my theory that little children who tell fibs grow up to be weather forecasters or marketers. As soon as I saw that waterspout, I thought of my girlfriend in Texas. I was like, wow! so this is like the tornadoes she sees.

      Liked by 1 person

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