Another late afternoon visit in the gloom to the Meadow roost. It's all been depressingly samey the last few visits with little of interest. Today's highlight was a drake PINTAIL though there was an interesting gull (aren't all gulls are interesting?) in the roost which I tried to shoe-horn into the atlantis camp though Ian Lewington (our esteemed county recorder) put me straight. He reckons that it is a very dark argentatus, probably from Finland, which start to appear in Oxfordshire in early December. The fact that the streaking bleeds onto the breast rather than being a demarcated hood is diagnostic. Apparently the first winters from there are scarily like a smithsonianus - now that would get me excited! There's always something to learn even on the quiet days!
An extra dark Finnish argentatus herring gull