28th September 2013 – GLOSSY IBISES in Cumbria!!!!

I was so tempted to leave Cumbria behind today and head east where it’s dripping with Yellow-browed’s, but as it turned out I’m so glad I didn’t. I was determined to stick with my patch birding and not leave my home county to twitch tarty stuff on the east coast. For me it’s all about finding your own stuff. So I started off nice and early at Anthorn, where my intention was to walk to Cardurnock and really grill the goldies and waders, maybe I’d even find my own YBW in the scrub. The weather was stunning and I had plenty of stuff to watch, but alas, no rarities again. But I’m not giving up!

Then mid afternoon I heard about some Glossy Ibises in the south of the county at High Foulshaw on the Kent Estuary. Trouble is my track record for twitching Cumbrian Glossy Ibises is pretty bad, I’ve made several attempts and they’ve all ended in dips. So I had to make a decision – should I try for these? Hell yeah! I’d never visited this area before but with the help of some on-site directions from the Kendal lads I was soon running in the right direction! And then, just as I was approaching where they were, a farmer sped by on his flippin’ quad bike and promptly flushed the lot! It was a mixture of relief and frustration, because the seven birds flew up and away and landed out of sight much further away. If we’d been just a few minutes earlier we’d have had pretty close views of them. After this they gave regular views in flight but would nearly always land out of sight and were frustratingly difficult to actually locate unless they flew. I could’ve even got some nice flight shots except I hadn’t put my battery in my DSLR – I wasn’t a happy chappy when I went to switch my camera on I can tell you!! Apart from the flushing farmer and my DSLR disaster I also managed to stand on an upturned nail which went right through my walking boot and up into my foot – which made me wince just a little…. Anyway, here’s a couple of distant digiscoped record shots that I took as I stood on one leg swearing…

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And just to add to my strangely eventful day when I got home I had an email from a guy who’d had a Glossy Ibis fly over Drumburgh Moss at 1740hrs – 5 minutes away from my house!!!….

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