Monday, 5 May 2014

Wombwell Ings twitching Glossy Ibis

I really should start my revision, but the appearance of a Glossy Ibis moving around South Yorkshire over the weekend may have put an end to those plans. I spent Saturday resting, when the bird appeared and moved around most sites in the county.
It spent the evening at Wombwell Ings, a satellite site to Old Moor, and then decided to stay. On Sunday I stayed to watch FC Halifax Town loose their play-off semi final, but the bird stayed again, so I decided to go for it today. When the alarm went off this morning I silently regretted that decision, but I went for it anyway.
I arrived at Wombwell Ings at around 10.00, with the ibis still there but hiding in a ditch out of sight. The hide was packed but I was able to perch myself on the end of a bench to watch the described location of the bird.
While I waited I gathered information regarding other birds, the undoubted highlights being a stunning male Gargany right in front of the hide. Unfortunately it spent most of the time with its head underwater feeding so I was still unable to get a great shot, but its still an improvement. The bird was as striking as they come, and having never seen one close as this I was very pleased with the way things were developing.
-Drake Gargany
There were also Shellduck, a pair of herons and 4 Avocets on the lake, the avocets came to the near shore at one point, very close. I was then able to grab a few shots of these striking birds as close as they were.
It took all of 20 mins but the star of the show eventually showed its glossy face, quite far away but feeding along the shore. From there it flew into the field, fed, flew back onto the shoreline, fed, flew back into the field and then we lost it for about 10mins, and it was during this absent spell that I decided I should probably head back to do some work. This progression took up an hour, but the reports on birdguides say that the bird moved off at about 12.00 so I did right to leave when I did.
So the bird. Despite the distance I was still able to get a decent view, especially when it was on the shoreline. The best chance for photos was during its flight, but they were infrequent. It was great to see it in flight though, its wings and body shape so unusual among most British birds.
Its plumage was not extensively glossy, so it is probably a younger bird, and there were white streaks on its face that I could make out, also suggesting a younger bird.
Its only my 5th vagrant species, but one that I have really wanted to see for some time, they just have such a tropical feel about them, so to see one in Barnsley is a bit out of context. I managed some photos, below...
-Glossy Ibis
So I left at about 11.20 to make sure I was back in good time to do some work. Result: well pleased with seeing the bird, and in the nick of time too. That was my 149th species of the year, 9th Lifer of the year, 5th vagrant species and first Glossy Ibis, what a result. Now back to the degree...

Species List:
Wombwell Ings RSPB: Whitethroat, Shellduck, Gargany, Coot, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Redshank, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Graylag Goose, Black-Headed Gull, Common Teal, Starling, Canada Goose, Mallard, Magpie, Oystercatcher, Swift, Swallow, Reed Bunting, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Tufted Duck, Linnet, Snipe, Goldfinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Yellowhammer, Robin, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, House Martin, Feral Pigeon, Blackbird

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