Monday, May 05, 2008

Local birding: Glossy Ibis - Brockholes Quarry, Lancs - 1st May 2008.

The long staying Lancashire Glossy Ibis hasn't been seen on the local patch since 07:55hrs on 2nd October 2006, but whilst it remained on the Ribble marshes Brockholes regulars have always hoped it would visit the site again one day. However, it was still a major thrill/shock to find the bird perched on a rock at the eastern end of the Main Pool at 18:30, whilst on Whimbrel roost duty. And what a stunning bird it is nowadays in 2nd summer plumage.

The Ibis remained in the vicinity of the Main Pool for forty minutes from my arrival time but was constantly mobbed by a flock of c20 Black-headed Gull whenever it attempted to land out from the 2nd passing place, causing the bird to head upriver east of the site on two occasions between 18:45-19:10 before it thankfully returned to the Main Pool on both occasions allowing Tony Disley, the only Brockholes regular who missed the bird in 2006, to successfully twitch it.
However, at 19:10, after continued bombardment by the BHG's, the bird decided enough was enough and headed purposefully upriver, at least as far as Elston New Hall Farm on the north bank and Lower Hall Farm on the south side, cSD597317. Did this enter the ELOC recording area?
Whimbrel roost count duty then took over, but the Ibis was picked up again in flight, distantly upriver, briefly at 19:50, then at 20:20 the bird overflew the 2nd passing place delighting the Whimbrel observers present all to briefly as it continued SW over the site and was watched as it disappeared into the distance downstream. This was a disappointment as we thought there was a great chance the Ibis would have roosted onsite. Alas it was not to be.
Above: Black-headed Gulls give the Ibis a hard time over the Main Pool.
Lets hope it drops in again sometime! An absolute stonker of a bird!