Wednesday, 4 September 2013


I needed to get to the peninsula to do a check on the nests there, it had been too long a gap in between my checks due to my being sick. The weather delayed the trip even more and so on a perfect spring day, after the walk with the bird club we loaded up our gear, heaved the canoe onto the roof of my wonderful bantam and off we went. For once I didn’t arrive at low tide and we were able to paddle in a relatively straight line to the peninsula, with a minor detour.. Flamingos. Oh do they make me happy! A group of Greater Flamingos were on a sand bar which used to be part of the peninsula but since some heavy rains and rough seas the topography has been rearranged and it is now a sandbar at low tide and is under water at high tide. Of course, we had to stop. We slowly walked towards them and they slowly moved off, we were able to get quite close to them before they flew, and were treated to their antics as the incoming tide occasionally pushed them off balance. A rare treat! And then work called so we continued our journey to the peninsula, passing a shaggy sea-hare of some species or another, and some really big fish! We made land on the peninsula and I left Shirley doing some disturbance work and headed into the colony to check on the nests. Sacred Ibis move fast! It wasn’t so long ago that they had moved onto the peninsula and now they have eggs compared to the gulls which have been nesting for weeks! This has made my trips to the peninsula all the more complicated. There are little pockets of Sacred Ibis breeding throughout my main study zone which limited my movements. They tolerated me to an extent but moved off quickly if I got too close and the gulls were waiting in anticipation of an eggy snack. So far there are no gull eggs, which in a way I am grateful for, it still seems there is so much to prepare to be ready for 5 crazy months of fieldwork!

A wobble in the waves.
Trying to keep their balance.
In elegant dance mode.. and turn to the right..
A group of Sacred Ibis and their eggs.

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