Glossy Ibis, Catcott Lows

Glossy Ibises

Three, to be precise. Who rather made up for last year’s failures at Grimley. Mind you, it still took some persistence on my part. An hour early afternoon didn’t produce them but did compensate with scads of wigeon, pintail, lapwing and shoveler. I even scoped very distant fieldfares.

But nary an ibis. Only a comestible retreat to Clark Village at Street and return to the hide later saved the day. People had seen the birds, flying distantly. I got my scope on the general area and waited, seawatching-like. The comings and goings of the local cormorants confused matters until one much slighter black silhouette briefly took to the air.

Was it? Wasn’t it? I was prepared to call it but then three similar shapes flew up and around long enough to get decent focus and an unequivocal identification. The year list moved on again, to 118.

Apart from having great birds, the Somerset Levels is such an atmospheric place. So wet. It put me in mind of the area round Sacramento and Davis in California, but much colder and greyer. It also struck me that, with a bit more reversion to the original fens, as at Catcott, we could have a county to rival Norfolk. Imagine that.
Red-crested Pochard

Keep imagining for another paragraph.

Done. I then moved on to find the mouth of the Huntspill River, where water pipits had hit the headlines. My geography let me down and I wound up where the Brue comes out at Burnham. D’oh! I’d passed Apex Leisure Park on the way and recalled associated reports of a red-crested pochard. To salvage something from the mistake, I returned and, sure enough, there was the handsome fellow. Probably a bit plastic, as I’ve mentioned, but hey, I’m counting it. 119.

How’s your year list coming on?

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