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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Glossy Ibis - on 13th October, 2016

Thursday was scheduled to be my regular afternoon out with pal, John. I was driving, so it was my turn to choose the venue! I'd already agreed with John that we'd go somewhere neither of us had been to before, which was Brandon Marsh. 

The weather on Thursday morning was dire, with rain for most of the morning, and not much better forecast for the rest of the day. Although it looked reasonable when I picked John up at 12h45, I'd still not got much confidence for a photographic visit where we would be out in the open most of the time. John agreed (perhaps a little reluctantly?) that we'd return to Cossington Meadows, where we'd dipped on the Glossy Ibis on the Monday, and then continue to Brandon Marsh if the weather looked like holding.

Contrary to earlier reports that the bird was on the Swan Meadow area of Cossington Meadows, it seems that someone had confused the designation of the location, and that the bird was being seen on Rectory Marsh. This is where we headed for.

We entered the Rectory Marsh area via the gate at the south-east corner, and immediately spotted the ibis half way along the far side of the lake, at a distance of about 120 metres (measured on Google Earth). The 'safety shot' from the gate was pretty useless, and we headed slowly along the footpath towards the gate at the north-east corner. This shot was taken about 45 metres along the path, with the bird at around 90 metres.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
We stopped again after another  40 metres or so, with the bird at around 80 metres.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
We then continued for another 30 metres, stopping around 35 metres from the gate, with the bird still at around 80 metres. We could see the bird more clearly from here, but the light was now rather difficult as we were shooting against almost white water.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
I think that we would have moved back in the direction we had come from in order to get better light, but the bird suddenly flew. John reckoned that it looked as if it was set to pass straight over our heads, but it suddenly turned, and landed on the water's edge, just around 25 metres directly in front of us! We still had the problem with the adverse light, but it was not quite so difficult at the closer range. The other problem was the vegetation that was now between us and the bird for much of the time. Also, we dare not move for fear of frightening the bird off.

Here's a few from immediately after it landed. You can see that it was quite relaxed. You can also see that it's in winter plumage.




Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
After a while, it started to move around, foraging for food, but never going far from our position. Here's a few more shots - well a lot more actually, as I'm not likely to get another chance like this!










Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
That last image is there because it shows a hint of the glossy green and purple that would have shown better if the sun was on the bird.

For some time we'd seen a couple approaching from the north-west corner of Rectory Marsh. They were carrying a 'scope and headed along the north bank of the water. Several times they checked out the ibis with the 'scope and then moved nearer. Eventually they got within about 15 metres of the bird and - guess what! - they flushed it! Why on earth would you feel the need to do this when you've been looking at it through a 'scope??!! - -and they say that photographers act irresponsibly!

I got some (poor) shots as it flew, and landed on the far side of the water. The second image is there because I'd never before noticed a bird raise its coverts as it landed, rather like an aircraft. Coincidentally, I also saw a heron do this later in the day.





Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Cossington Meadows
After landing, the bird disappeared into the vegetation and we headed back to the car,  calling a few choice words, as we departed, to the couple who'd flushed the bird.

From here we headed to Brandon Marsh, and had a very enjoyable 'rest of afternoon'.

Thank you for dropping by. I haven't any idea as to what my next post will feature!

32 comments:

  1. Nice bird, Richard and some great shots of it. Glossy Ibis shows up here very infrequently and is always a cause for great delight amongst birders when it does. Not too far south of here, even in the Jamaica Bay Area of New York, it is a quite common species.
    With love to you both, David

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    1. Thank you, David. It's a rather rare bird locally - I believe it's only the third record for Leicestershire and Rutland. My only UK sighting before this was in Gloucestershire in April, 2007 - three birds in summer plumage. I suspect that this bird's navigation system has failed and it should be in Africa.

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  2. Fantastic Glossy Ibis, I would love to get one, beautiful images Richard. Did you shoot this from a hide?

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    1. Thank you, Bob. No we weren't in a hide - John and I just stood there, watching from a distance, and it flew to a point just in front of us. Sometimes one gets lucky!

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  3. WOW! Congratulations! A spectacular sight!

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    1. Thank you, Anne. I'm hoping that this bird will soon find its way southwards, as that is where I believe it should be.

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  4. Yet another stunning set of images,this is a stunning Bird,loved your flight shots which shows off it's green plumage really well.
    John.

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    1. Thank you, John. As of yesterday it was still there, but (for its own sake) I hope it soon heads south.

      Best wishes to you and Sue - - Richard

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  5. Hello Richard
    Very beautiful pictures, the bird knew that you make him famous and stood for you model ... ;-) great series sowas you rarely see
    Greetings Frank

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    1. Thank you, Frank. These birds are quite rare here (only the second time I have seen one in UK), so I was pleased to see it.

      Best wishes - - Richard

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  6. You made good use of your close encounter with this scarce bird and achieved an excellent set for your records and to share here as a rewarding visit to Brandon Marsh.

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    1. Hi Pete. Thank you for your kind comment. Actually, the bird was at Cossington Meadows - it was after that that we went to Brandon Marsh, which was a very enjoyable first visit, but not rewarding on this occasion!

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  7. Hi Richard, great post and a wonderful afternoon, what a beautiful bird, glad it flew closer to us. With the quality of the light and all the changes to settings we had to make, it was still a very difficult bird to get decent image of. See you soon John

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    1. It certainly was a somewhat memorable afternoon, John. And, yes, the light was difficult!

      See you soon - - Richard

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  8. Hello Richard!:) What an eventful afternoon seeing this rare Glossy Ibis, and getting such great images. The bronze and green plumage is beautiful. Best Regards.

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    1. Thank you, Sonjia. It certainly was a very special afternoon, and a great privilege to see and photograph this owl so closely.

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

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  9. Ah Richard what great shots you could make of this Ibis. A bird not so often seen and to admire. You and John were so Lucky! And good for you that you let those m....s have a peace of your mind. It is Always sad some people do not know when to stop.
    Regards,
    Roos

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Roos. I'm not sure that harsh words have any impact on the idiots that try and get too close, but one has to try and get the message across to them!

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  10. Wow what great photos, I can just imagine what you had to say the people who chased the bird away!!! Meanwhile though you photos are fabulous. Have a good week Diane

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I managed to restrain myself from saying to that couple what I really felt - they got away with just being dealt a few sarcastic comments. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take a photo of them - and then include it in this post!

      I hope your week is off to a good start - - - Richard

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  11. Cracking bird and images Richard. Perversely I like the light on the ones you say was in adverse light.

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    1. Thanks, Doug. It was just a great pleasure to see this bird - and getting any sort of images of it was a bonus as far as I'm concerned!

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  12. Really make an excellent series of this Glossy Ibis.
    You could photograph these beautiful birds free. You've also been really nice views. Top!
    I enjoyed again.
    Greetings, Helma

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    1. Thank you, Helma. I hope that you have a great week ahead of you.

      Best wishes - - - Richard

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  13. Hello Richard,
    Well from what I see, your pics are as good as John's!!
    That was quite a sighting in the UK! I was telling John I use to have them daily in my South African garden when lived in Joburg!
    Great and interesting series.
    Strange that you don't get to see warblers that much anymore and sad...
    Keep well and enjoy your Sunday afternoon :)

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    1. Hi Noushka. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

      We seem to be getting a few more sightings of these birds in the UK over the past few years. They still attract a lot of interest, however. It must have been wonderful to have them in your garden - or were they a nuisance?

      I hope your week is going well. Mine's been an unmitigated disaster so far!

      My very best wishes - - - Richard

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    2. No those ibises were not a nuisance on the contrary, they "drill" holes in the lawn which is a good thing and we only had about 4 to 5 birds on a regular basis.
      Gee, I hope things are going to get better for you...
      As for me I thought I had a problem with my 800 mm: sometimes I get completely unfocussed images and sometime they are as sharp as they can get trials with 2 cameras... really weird!
      My village is one the many nice one in the south of the Haute Garonne department but it's only a rent for now.
      Good luck with everything but mostly keep well!

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    3. Thanks for your kind words, Noushka. Hopefully things will look up from now on. The car went in for repair today - should get it back tomorrow. The Nikon D7200 also was sent off to Nikon for sorting out today. Around 50 dark spots have appeared on the sensor (only visible on light areas). The sensor cleaning function doesn't clear them. It might have all started when I was shooting in continuous mode and the camera suddenly stopped with a heavy 'clunk'. This PC goes to the shop tomorrow as it is becoming unstable for some reason. The Sigma 50-500 will go for repair when the D7200 comes back!

      A thought on that 800mm - do you use point focus? If so, could it be that, with the long reach of your lens, the focus point is concentrating on such a small part of the target that it it's hitting a part with little detail to operate the focus efficiently. Maybe increasing the diameter of your focus point would help?

      Take good care - - - Richard

      Best wishes - - Richard

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  14. Interesting pictures of this bird, the colours of this bird remind me of the Lapwings and Starlings, they appear to be plain brown or black until the sun shines on them then you see the colours.

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    1. Yes, Lin, very much like the colours seen on a Lapwing. What doesn't show well on my images is that the narrow 'eyeshield' stripe on the face seemed to have a distinctly blue tinge.

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  15. Great captures of the Ibis Richard. An amazing bird to encounter.
    Hope things are getting better for you. Reading some of the comments it seems things are not going as you would like.
    Take care,
    Regards,
    Roos

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    1. Thank you, Roos. Thngs have been stacking up against me lately and, at my age, I don't weather them so well as I used to! Fortunately things are getting better and I've only got a broken car, a broken camera, a telephone company that seems to be incapable of providing an advertised service in spite of making three attempts to do so, a problematic E-bay seller, and a dishonest parking company to deal with at the moment. The sun is shining, and I'm stuck indoors!

      Ooh Well!!!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

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