Tuesday, 28 February 2012

In Search of a Glossy

Tuesday February 28th
After spending the morning completing the last of the articles for the Autumn Great Yarmouth Bird Club newsletter - all 25 pages of it - I needed a break. Keith's Bird Notes will wait until to-morrow and the following days. I need to get it to Dave for printing a.s.a.p next week.
Halvergate Marshes are extensive and not easy to view. The best vantage point is the bridge on a busy road with nowhere safe to stand. We started off in a layby nearby and then moved on to Stone Road, a turning to the left near the farm at the end. This road ends in an extensive parking/turning area, further car access is denied. Baz and a few others were already there, they hadn't seen anything. We'd heard at club last night (very good talk and lovely photos on Alaskan bird and animal life by Guy Kirwan) that the birds have been very difficult to see. They feed in the ditches and one has to wait for one to fly.
We spent about an hour after the others had dispersed, a couple to walk a footpath and the other two cars drove off, scanning in all directions. One of the walkers returned to say that he'd seen a Glossy Ibis in flight for a short while when the gulls and lapwings were spooked by a male Marsh Harrier. I was watching the Harrier.......
We returned to the bridge area where all the small parking places - field entrances - were already taken. Immediately we stopped, Pam saw a single Glossy Ibis rise and fly towards a windmill - near where we'd just left! I managed to get views through the back window behind Pam's head. I then realised that I'd seen one earlier and dismissed it as a Cormorant. What a good birder. My excuse is that it was very distant.
Baz and three other birders were on the bridge. As we drove past, they informed us that the bird was in the scope but.....out of sight in a ditch. Jokers.

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