Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ibis Gives Surrey Year a Glossy Coat!

I am the first person to complain about how bad the weather has been. However without this kind of disruption above our heads today’s offering would probably not have stopped off in the flooded fields surrounding the River Wey in Frensham Surrey.

News of a Glossy Ibis broke a couple of days ago with confirmation of the bird thanks to the finder and Dave Harris circulating the news. The weather has been grim with heavy winds and rain and there was every chance this bird would stick around for the weekend!
(Glossy Ibis)
I set out fairly early this morning with confirmation that the Ibis was still present from Dave en route. I checked the fields by the road and then parked up opposite St Mary the Virgin Church. I walked down the lane a joined another birder who was viewing the Ibis from the metal gate.
(Glossy Ibis)

The next step was to take some pictures of this rare visitor to the County of Surrey. I rattled off a few shots using the hedge as a screen and then made my way back to the car. As I was walking back the bird flew across the track and onto the flooded area downstream. I was not quick enough on the camera settings to capture the bird out of silhoutte (No presets!).The Ibis remained in this area for a good 30 minutes. A few birders were now turning up and all had good views of the Ibis.
(Glossy Ibis)
The bird although content with its surrounding was clearly using the whole area to feed and I’m sure there were plenty of morsels for it to gorge itself on. The Ibis moved once again downstream and this time out of sight and was not seen for a good while afterwards.  
I set off for Frensham Great Pond having been told by Sean Peters that there was Goosander on the outlet pond! I saw five birds four females and a male. The weather was closing in again so I had a walk around this area then returned to the car to make my way home.

On the way home I was driving along the A287 when I saw a couple of birders by the bridge over the River Wey opposite the entrance to Frensham garden Centre. There had been no news of the Ibis for a good few hours and the Ibis was the first thought in my mind and low and behold there it was out on the flooded fields. A couple of quick phone calls later (I knew a couple of Surrey listers had missed the bird earlier on in the day) and another look at the bird and off I trotted home.

Not a bad start to the year a Surrey VC mega added to the list. My list stands at 221 species. Thanks again to Dave Harris for keeping me updated on the birds movements.

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