Sunday, 24 October 2010
That Bloody Ibis! - Anglesey - 21-23rd October 2010
In every birdwatchers carreer, they will go through a phase when everything goes right and every bird you go to see is there and performing well! I have recently experienced such a phase in my career where I have had 21 yearticks and 9 lifers since August 18th. Since coming to Bangor University, I have discovered the 'noble art' of train twitching! I have managed to see: Lapland Bunting, Grey Phalarope, Yellow Browed Warbler, Green Heron, Dusky Warbler, Red Breasted Flycatcher and White Winged Black Tern which have all been successful twitches.
Sadly all good things must come to an end and there will be something that changes everything and ruins the streak of luck!
A text saying: 'RBA Anglesey GlOSSY IBIS ESE of RAF Valley +1ml SE of Llyn Traffwll in field south of minor rd SH.388.753', happened to be the fly in my birdwatching ointment!
Chris Bridge and I set off from Bangor at 8.15 on Thursday 21st towards Rhosneigr. We began walking the route we had planned not realising the roads were stupidly confusing and ended up going completely the wrong way! Arriving onsite, we failed to see anything resembling an Ibis which was shocking, considering our recent good luck. Hideously, it was apparent that we were not going to see the bird and had to give up with a static yearlist! The unnecessary detour meant that we walked 12.5 miles to not see the bird! Waste of time! We assumed the bird was gone forever
Friday 22nd - A text off Chris telling me that the ibis was back, certainly caused language of a PG rating filled my bedroom! We decided that we wouldn't let the bird defeat us and set out again around lunchtime. A much quicker route meant that we only needed to walk 7.5 miles round trip this time, but arriving at the same site and there being no sign of any birders or birds made the 6 mile walk seem even more pointless! To throw a slap into our faces again, the weather started to turn and torrential rain and seawatching style winds battered us from every angle! We dipped again! how is that possible with the bird being reported again only 45 minutes before be arrived!
Saturday 23rd - I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't go for the bird again as 20 miles to not see a bird was getting ridiculous! Speaking to Jonathon Scragg on Facebook, he mentioned that it had been reported again! FFS! I checked the grid reference and checked it again and then it suddenly dawned on me that we had been looking in the wrong place by about 200 meters! No wonder we dipped! I set out with a friend from Preston and before too long we were onsite and there it was! Glossy Ibis - 212. It had a huge white ring on its left leg showing that it was the same bird that has been on the Otter Estuary in Devon and also proving that it is a spanish bird ringed in 2008. This ring stood out more than the bird which was in a ditch at the far side of a dull field (hence the rubbish photo!). By the end of these 3 days I had walked 26 miles for a year tick! Sometimes, you have to ask yourself 'why do i bother!'