I arrived back from my trip to Andalucia late last night, with one thing on my mind.....GLOSSY IBIS!
So first thing this morning I went straight to Druridge, I had to be in Berwick by nine o'clock so not much time, I went straight to the Budge screen, no sign...The hunters were shooting woodpigeons or pheasants over by the haul road, my fear was that the shooting might have scared it off for good.
My fears were allayed somewhat when I heard from Alan Gilbertson that it was spending most of its time on the big pool, so straight after work i was back down there, some people walking back from the hide assured me it was showing well in front of the hide! I was sweating like a fat lass at a disco I can tell you!
Anyway, when I got there, it had gone from in front of the hide, thankfully only to left a bit, crap light but it was on the list...PHEW!
I would have been totally gutted if I had missed such a monstrous bird for the patch, thank gos it stayed around long enough for me to see it. The excitement didn't end there though, there was more.
AG had also told me about a buff-breasted sandpiper and honey buzzard at Cresswell today. As I watching the ibis, I noticed a small wader on the waters edge to the left of the hide, it was behind vegetation and in silhouette, but it looked different then I lost it. It re-appeared some minutes later further along the shore near to the ibis, a grey heron and two greenshanks. I pointed it out to some photographers in the hide and that I suspected it could be the buff-breasted...
Just as I did, it flew off doing two circuits of the western end of the lake, flying fast, resembling a bat in flight and showing a pale underwing with an obvious crescent. It landed among the rocks on the far shore, in better light, but head-on, so not much better views but enough with the flight views to clinch it! One of the photographers moved the scope and I never re-located it, the light was going quickly too, hopefully it will still be there tomorrow. I've had buff-breasted at Druridge before, right in front of the Oddie hide, so not a patch tick but a cracking year tick and a really unexpected bonus to the ibis.
Oh and by the way, Spain was fantastic, great weather for October, i missed most of the raptor migration at Tarifa, but I did see Rupells vulture, my target species and really good short-toed eagle passage. Andalucia is a fantastic place, I could move there tomorrow!
GLOSSY IBIS 218
glossy ibis 139
buff-breasted sandpiper 140