Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Avonmouth - Glossy Ibis

An evening talk in Somerset meant I was well placed for a stop in the South West whilst travelling down. A likely year list candidate was a juvenile Glossy Ibis in the Avonmouth area. I arrived (thanks entirely to satnav) somewhere in the midst of an industrial estate jungle and with a sea of yellow lines, parked up on a grass verge opposite a pretty imposing Police Station……

I was half expecting the riot squad to appear the moment I unloaded the mobile rocket launcher (Canon 500mm lens covered in cammo is a bit of a dead ringer). No-one appeared thankfully, so I wandered around the moat like ditch surrounding a big warehouse.

I reached a small bridge and the object of my attentions was immediately apparent! Hello, hello, hello, what's going on 'ere...






....this juvenile Glossy ibis had presumably been banged up in the ditch by the local constabulary for possession of an offensive bill??






A few hasty portraits in case it flew off..... (it didn't)








The youngster was preening in between bouts of feasting on the underwater occupants of the ditch – aquatic snails! I watched as it simply wandered towards and then beneath me, feasting on them in quick succession. One quick flick of the head and the snail was consigned to a rapid doom via a pretty efficient digestive tract!












Confiding or what? The 500mm lens was redundant and fortunately, I’d got the 300mm lens with me (lesson learnt after New Brighton!!) My only previous experience of this species has been from (at closest) 100m distance! It was now firmly in the ‘feather detail’ class and I have to say, with the plumage glowing an iridescent green in the sunlight – quite an attractive bird.....

A bit of a preen....









Favourite crops.....








I had time for a brief stop at Chew Valley Reservoir and made my way to Stratford hide. This was distant hard work with the scope and after scanning the 100’s of ducks present ended up with the main quarry: 2 drake Ferruginous ducks and another eight wildfowl species plus Kingfisher and walking back to the car, Cetti’s Warbler (seen!) I never did find the eclipse Ring-necked Duck and with time running out, a pub meal beckoned near Taunton……

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