We took ourselves off to south-east Essex this weekend, and today found ourselves by the estuary of the river Stour at a place called Mistley. A huge expanse of mud when the tide is out, geese, ducks and gulls predominated, including quite a number of black-backed gulls. The yellow legs mark these out as lesser black-backs; greater black-backs, apart from being huge, larger than a buzzard in fact, also have pink legs. The gulls in the picture below are all black-headed or lesser black-backed; black-headed gulls lose their head colour in the winter, apart from an ‘ear’ marking on each side of the head. A stately pair of swans slapped around a bit in the mire here too.