Wednesday, 16 October 2013

What an Idiot!

A Glossy Ibis has been seen recently in South Essex, it's been seen coming into the egret roost at Wat Tyler Country Park. Last night it came in at 18.15 and 111 Little egrets were counted coming in also. My cunning plan, was to look for it on the soon to open 'RSPB Bowers Marsh' during the day. And, if that failed I still had the roost at Wat Tyler as a back-up.

Well the walk around Bowers failed to turn up an Ibis and it poured with rain, only occasionally easing off! So, I arrived at Wat Tyler early 16.30 to be precise, well the weather was rubbish, it will get dark earlier and the Ibis will come in early, not rocket science is it! Our weather, 'aint science at all! In the 15 minutes it took me to drive to Wat Tyler, the sun had come out and it was now almost like a pleasant summers evening

So, there I stood with a group of local birders in the Green Centre's car park, waiting for the sun to dip below the horizon and the roost to begin forming in the nearby scrub area. As well as an egret roost the scrub also holds a quite raucous and large corvid roost which begins to form first. At about 17.50, the light was fading fast and our first Little Egrets began arriving, by 18.30 a hundred had been logged and the light was disappearing fast and still no sign of the Ibis. 18.40 egret arrivals had now stopped, light becoming poor, and I decide to call it a night, I say my goodbyes, walk the 20' to my car, which is parked in front of the dozen gathered birders. Open the car door, sit in the seat, I hadn't even shut the car door, when they almost all raised their binoculars as one and looked intently behind me! Mt first instinct was 'they are having a laugh' but a split-second later I realised this was for real, they had the bird and I'm in my car looking the wrong way! By the time I jumped out of the car, it had dropped into the roost and disappeared. What an idiot! Pretty much the whole day had been leading to this one moment, AND I MISSED IT!

The only bright point was this smart male Stonechat.
Oh go on, turnaround!

Thank You