Saturday 22 October 2011


I was so bored today that I drove round the M25 (well, was driven round the M25 would be slightly more accurate) to see a Glossy Ibis. Yawn. I am told that Glossy Ibis is a real London blocker, that there hasn't been a twitchable one since Andrew M saw one in 1937. Well, perhaps there hasn't, but I could still derive very little pleasure from seeing it, and my mood only lifted slightly when it flew off. There was a time, only a few short years ago, when I looked at Glossy Ibis in my field guide and drooled a bit. What a massive rarity - look, three stars in the Collins! Bet I'll never see one of those, mega.

My chance came in October 2008 when I dashed to the Cambridgeshire fens and connected! It was my 274th UK bird (I very nearly got a Tshirt made up). So what has changed? Have I lost my birding innocence? No. The trouble is that I have now seen three in the last two weeks. Glossy Ibis are everywhere, almost pestilential. No watermeadow is safe, and rumour has it that DEFRA will have to be called in soon to start shooting them lest they start breeding with our native Cattle Egrets.

Still, the day could have been a lot worse. A LOT. At six in the evening yesterday I was on the point of packing my bags for Cornwall, and we all know what would have happened then.... Thankfully common sense prevailed, and I decided to stay at home. Wanstead was very quiet so Nick & I went to Rainham. This was once again packed to the rafters with waders and wildfowl, so after kicking a few stones by Aveley tip we decided the only thing for it was to circumnavigate the M25 for a Glossy Ibis. That is how bad it's been today. Roll on tomorrow...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This one was in Essex last weekend. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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