28th April 2012 – Osprey and dipping Ibises again…

I should be really happy. And for a few exciting minutes as I watched the Osprey flap slowly over the Solway I was really happy. But then it all went very pear shaped. I shall explain. After work Col picked me up for a bit of local birding. It was pants to be honest, there was a bitterly cold gusty north wind coming right off the Solway and there were no birds to look at. As ever we had began in an optimistic mood, but very soon my fingers had frozen, my eyes were constantly streaming and I longed for the warmth of the car. We gave up and headed home. And then, as we approached Drumburgh, and timed to absolute perfection, an Osprey flew over the road right in front of us. Magic! We leapt out and watched as gulls and Shelducks mobbed this impressive raptor. By the time I’d got my camera it was already heading out over the Solway towards Scotland. Take a look at this prize winning shot…

So at least we were now heading home in a rather better mood than before, after all it’s not every day that you see an Osprey. And that’s where it all went wrong. I received a text which read “3 Glossy Ibises from hide at North Plain at 1735hrs”. It was now 1748hrs. Col did a handbrake turn and we were on our way. He had just dipped the Arnside bird yesterday morning, I’d dipped a bird at Sandsfield a few years ago and now no less than 3 birds were just a few miles from us and within our grasp!! At last this county bogey bird was going to give itself up. Or was it? Just 10 minutes later we had parked up at North Plain, but as anyone who knows the reserve can testify, it’s a fair old yomp down to the hide at the bottom. We power-walked all the way down the track, I was completely knackered to be honest, my leg muscles felt like they were on fire – but it would all be worthwhile when I clapped eyes on those Ibises. I collapsed through the hide door and it was then that Norman greeted us with those words that every birder dreads “They’re not here now, they’ve gone”. Nooooooooo!!! Arrrrggghhhhhh!!!!! Yep, in the space of half an hour the 3 Glossy Ibises had buggered off. No-one saw them go, so it’s anyones guess as to where they are now. So you see even though I saw an Osprey today I’m a bit cheesed off. If you’re reading this and don’t live in Cumbria you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. After all Glossy Ibises have been turning up here there and everywhere in recent years. Well yes they have, but everywhere except Cumbria! They just don’t seem to be twitchable here, early county records were of birds shot, and the few birds that have occurred since have only stayed for 1 day. Take a look at the previous records:

  • 1921 – 16th September, Moorhouse, Carlisle, shot
  • 1932 – November, Gilsland Moors, shot
  • 1992 – 30th September, near Kirkbride (1 day)
  • 2009 – 24th September, Kent Estuary (6 birds for 1 day – but not twitchable)
  • 2009 – 4th October, Rockcliffe Marsh/Sandsfield (dipped it/not twitchable)
  • 2011-2012 -A handful of erratic appearances of the Leighton Moss bird as it ventured over the county border near Arnside.

 

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2 Responses to 28th April 2012 – Osprey and dipping Ibises again…

  1. Fantastic Darren, You maybe didn’t mean the right up to be funny but if you did you succeeded as I was in fits, made a guy happy on a miserable day.
    All the best Gordon.

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