Monday, 21 September 2009

MEGA....MEGA....GLOSSY IBIS at Tyttenhanger - the first county record

"WHAT A MORNING"!! - Got to Tyttenhanger this morning doing my usual daily round of Willows Farm, Fishing Lakes and Main Pit. By the time I reached the main pit, I had seen nothing more exciting than a female Blackcap around the fishing lakes. The Main Pit was very quiet, except for the usual Gulls, Lapwing and the very noisy arrival of 22 Greylag Geese. But other than that, just one Common Snipe and a handful of Swallow passing over West to keep me interested.

As I got to the viewpoint on the Maize field (East bank).I noticed all the gulls had risen from the spit. Raising my bins expecting to see either a raptor or large Gull making a pest of itself, to my utter shock I was on to a GLOSSY IBIS being chased by 20+ Gulls. At first I thought it was going to carry on over the sand spit and leave but it turned and followed the line of the West bank (Anybody on the Footpath that side would have had fantastic views). It again tried to land in the area of Willow shrub near Pylon Corner, (left of the Hide) but was still being pursued by two Gulls. It rose again and flew back to the Spit end, but unfortunately carried on this time, climbing all the time and lost to view over the Model Railway site (gulls still in hot pursuit). I had a look for it in the Colney Heath common area and other fields around the site. But "Needle in a Haystack" came to mind! Eventually gave up at 1:30 (Steve Blake)

Perhaps not altogether unexpected considering the 35 or more Glossy Ibieses currently in the UK. A brilliant record though. I immediately went out and scoured all waters to the NW of Tyttenhanger, including the Tring Reservoirs complex. Sadly no sign as of yet. Let's hope it is not the one that got away. Well done Steve - well deserved considering the effort you have put in this year (Lee G R Evans)

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