OK, so I'm no Ian Wallace*. But I had thought my ID skills would remain better than my young son's for a few years yet...
So it was something of a surprise when, as I guided him around the view from Brandon's East Marsh hide with the words "...and there on the far island you can see three greylag geese...", I received the reply: "well that one's not!"
To be fair, he was using the scope and I just a pair of bins; the bird was also well hunkered down as I scanned it and had decided to pop its head up when he got to it.
But perhaps just as pertinently he was using a child's mind - fresh, open and endlessly enquiring - while I was using a considerably older brain which is perhaps slightly more likely to see things as it has seen things before, rather than as they really are. I suspect there's a lesson there for us all.
Now, in some eyes this would be a modest find: an egyptian goose is not a super-rare bird; while it might have established a breeding population it's hardly a 'natural' incomer to our shores; and reports show that this one has been around at Brandon for a while (see report here).
But it is undeniably exotic looking, it's hardly frequent in my part of the world, and it was my son's first bona fide 'beat Dad to it' spot. In my book that makes it a pretty special find.
Bird of the day: Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus), a relative of the shelduck originally kept in wildfowl collections; now there is an established UK breeding population with a population bias towards the east of the country.
*Many birders will know of D.I.M. Wallace, perhaps the grandest of grand old men of British birding; if you don't then do yourself a favour and beg, borrow, buy or steal a copy of his Beguiled by Birds - it's an extraordinary read.