Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Previous records of GLOSSY IBIS in Hertfordshire

Following Steve Blake's remarkable discovery, I detail below the previous records of GLOSSY IBIS in the county -:

1) A bird was shot at Wilstone or Marsworth Reservoir, Tring, in October 1826 and the mounted specimen painted in watercolour by H.Higgs and exhibited in Wardown Park Museum, Luton;

2) One was shot on the lake in Ball's Park, Hertford, by a Mr Pantia Ralli, on either 10 September or 10 November 1881 (Field 26 November 1881: 792). It was preserved by Tutt of Wigmore Street in London.

3) One was shot near the village of Waterford by Mr J.Roberts in November 1887 (Gladwin & Sage 1959).

In addition to the Glossy Ibis records, Hertfordshire also became home to an escaped PUNA IBIS (Plegadis ridegwayi) (an endemic ibis of the Andean Mountains of western South America - see pages 173-175 in Hancock et al, Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World for further information). It was first seen at Kimpton Cress Beds and at Whitwell from 4 May 1980 onwards, although had previously been seen at King's Walden in April 1980. It survived in the area until at least 15 December 1982 (LGRE, Richard Webb, Barry Reed, Bill Last, et al) before becoming a more permanent fixture at the cressbeds and then was almost resident (and often ridiculously confiding) until 29 December 1999 - a period of over 19 years.

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