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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Ibis Magic



Following on from working this afternoon. I heard news of 3 Glossy Ibis at modern day Caister St. Edmund (Norfolk), this was particularly appealing to me, because of my great interest in both birds/ wildlife and history. Caister St. Edmund was the old Roman Fort site of Venta Icenorium which literally means City of the Iceni people, because following the Boudiccan revolt against Roman rule in the 7th century AD by Boudicca the Romans cracked down very hard on the native rebellious Celtic tribes including Boudicca's people the Iceni who lived in the area now called Norfolk & North Suffolk. They raised to the ground this city of the Iceni people and built a Roman fort in it's place.
History lesson over, I parked in the car park at the ancient site and joined Johnny B & Neil M in a search for the Ibis' which had been seen around the river just north west of the fort. Seeing other birders in this area including Lee G we were informed that had flow west a few hundred yards appearing to land neat the mill at Stoke Holy Cross.
Following Lee's car we drove west, parked just past the Mill and walked 1/2 a mile towards Dunston (following a positive sighting of one of the birds). Overlooking a cattle field with the river bordering the field edge, we suddenly saw an excellent Glossy Ibis flying up onto a heap of straw. A large heron-like bird with dark purple- brown plumage white flecking on the head and upper neck showing along down curved bill. It spent a bit of time asleep before preening and then jumping down in to the river and out of sight.
We heard a shout down the road and we walked a few hundred yards to witness the amazing sight of 3 Glossy Ibis (the one we had just been watching had flow in to join the initial 2 here) standing and feeding on the south side of the river in the company of a Grey Heron. One Ibis sported a yellow ring on it's right leg. After a few minutes all 3 Ibis one after another flew over to our side of the river but sadly out of sight.

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