Wednesday 22 December 2021

Glossy Ibis at Walmsley sanctuary & Amble marshes December 2021.


We've been seeing a Glossy Ibis in the reserve since early October and it was then joined by a second bird later in that month. They've been a bit secretive in the past few weeks and when 2 turned up at Newquay I thought it was these birds. However one was still here at Walmsley and twice I watched it flying into the reserve at dusk presumably to roost.

It was yesterday that I stayed late at Walmsley so I could paint the steps to the tower hide with anti-slip paint after everyone had vacated. It was almost dark when Jenny Hale & myself watched a flock of ibis fly in and settle to roost in the margins of a reed bed. They seemed to fly in with purpose as if they'd done it many times before...strange!

I counted a definite 11 birds although Jenny thought more. 

So I was there this morning in the dark at 07:10 to watch them leave the reeds. Ha! no such luck, they'd already left and were feeding in a group in another part of the reserve. I watched them through my scope but it was too dark for photographs. As the light brightened a buzzard flew across the water & all the waders took flight. Maybe 700 Lapwing, 150 Black-tailed Godwit, 50+ Redshank, 4 Greenshank & numerous wildfowl all took to the wing. Unfortunately the ibis flew farther up the Amble valley & out of the reserve.

After watching an otter hunting in the shallows I went over to Chapel Amble to see if I could relocate the flock but couldn't find them. Fortunately my phone rang & it was Shaun Grose who told me which field they were in as he was watching from a distance. 

Neither of us could get enough height to get a good detailed shot of them and we each came up with different counts. Eventually we settled on 13 birds but they were fragmented when they flew and I wonder if there aren't more than that if they all stuck together.



It would need to be over 14 to beat my previous reserve record from July 2017.

Here's a link back to that date on this blog if you're interested in seeing the photos.