Saturday, 2 November 2013

A Glossy Ibis at Abberton

23rd October 2013

As I am sure many of you will know I have been birding for over 50 years and have built up quite a reasonable life list. Having said that, I have NEVER been a twitcher and therefore there are a number of species that are missing from my list which these days are considered quite easy, and the Glossy Ibis is one of them. They are turning up in the UK much more frequently, sometimes even in small flocks, and therefore with a short trip it should be possible to see one. Therein lies the problem, as up to now I just haven't bothered.

However I was particularly tempted by the one at Abberton as, not only has it been there for several days, but it was often quite close. When I arrived there were just two birders looking intently down at the water's edge. I leapt out of the car assuming that they were looking at the Glossy Ibis but I couldn't see it. But then there was a movement by the waterside vegetation and there it was. I hadn't realised just how small they are. If you look down the photos you will see that they are about the same size or, if anything, slightly smaller than a Mallard.

Most of the birds that arrive here are young birds dispersing from their nearest breeding ground in Spain. This individual was no exception and is therefore predominantly brown but with a slight dark green sheen on its back, which was only evident under certain light.

Well that was easy and it is still only 11.00am. So what to do? Go home or on to East Mersea?...........well, that didn't take long to work out!!

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