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Glossy Ibis chaos (1 Viewer)

jqmhelios

Well-known member
With the problem of moving into Tier 4 now real, I decided to spend more time in my house recently. That was, until I heard about the glossy ibis now in Cambridge. I took a train down from Ely to Cambridge North. And realized I was seriously unprepared. I had no idea where this 'Chesterton Fen' was, and as such only had a vague idea of where to look. There were a lot of people about, as was in that 'national lockdown', and I already made plans to return tomorrow if I failed.

I scoured the good-looking fields but was unable to see the bird anywhere, even though I did encounter one person with a nice camera in the region where I suspected the ibis to be. The path from Cambridge North to Baits Bite had huge puddles and my bike was seriously dirty by the time I reached the lock.
On the way there I rode past the black poplars in Fen Ditton and heaved a massive sigh of relief. Someone had called a tree crew. The poplars previously had a giant mistletoe infestation, but I could not see any at all when I rode past, something which really encouraged me- I thought the trees were on the brink of death when I saw them last.
I decided to have a quick look at the sluice, which was at maximum water removal setting- I have never seen this happen before. The torrent of foaming water looked intimidating even at a distance. I briefly deliberated whether I should give up on the ibis- which clearly was either not here or hidden somewhere, and instead visit the little owls at Waterbeach, maybe press on to Landbeach to see the barn owls there.
I decided to give the ibis another try. I was deeply frustrated by the massive hedges blocking the view of the fields from me, but I found a path and decided to take it. It led me to a road, from which the fields were much better to observe.

I scanned everywhere and didn't see anything, even though I saw a soaring buzzard in the distance. I followed the nice trail, only to find it completely flooded. There was a huge, massive puddle in front of me. I just rode through it no problem, going very slowly. This was rather fun, actually. However, beyond I didn't find what I was looking for. I took the puddle again back and decided to return tomorrow, and return to the station. The sun was slowly setting, and as I rode to the station, I saw what I initially thought was a little owl on a pole in Chesterton Fen. However, when I zoomed in it turned out to be a green woodpecker, still great, though.

On the train back to Ely the train spooked a short-eared owl sitting next to the railway.
In short, despite the disappointment, an excellent day. I returned and was able to confirm that I was in the right place. I probably missed it due to the colossal hedges. I'll come back tomorrow to see it, hopefully.
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Don’t forget your wellies tomorrow then! Glad to hear mistletoe-removing crews are doing their stuff, could do with them here in our valley in France, I worry that we’ll have no old fruit trees left for the Redstarts etc.:(
 

Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
With the problem of moving into Tier 4 now real, I decided to spend more time in my house recently. That was, until I heard about the glossy ibis now in Cambridge. I took a train down from Ely to Cambridge North. And realized I was seriously unprepared. I had no idea where this 'Chesterton Fen' was, and as such only had a vague idea of where to look. There were a lot of people about, as was in that 'national lockdown', and I already made plans to return tomorrow if I failed.

I scoured the good-looking fields but was unable to see the bird anywhere, even though I did encounter one person with a nice camera in the region where I suspected the ibis to be. The path from Cambridge North to Baits Bite had huge puddles and my bike was seriously dirty by the time I reached the lock.
On the way there I rode past the black poplars in Fen Ditton and heaved a massive sigh of relief. Someone had called a tree crew. The poplars previously had a giant mistletoe infestation, but I could not see any at all when I rode past, something which really encouraged me- I thought the trees were on the brink of death when I saw them last.
I decided to have a quick look at the sluice, which was at maximum water removal setting- I have never seen this happen before. The torrent of foaming water looked intimidating even at a distance. I briefly deliberated whether I should give up on the ibis- which clearly was either not here or hidden somewhere, and instead visit the little owls at Waterbeach, maybe press on to Landbeach to see the barn owls there.
I decided to give the ibis another try. I was deeply frustrated by the massive hedges blocking the view of the fields from me, but I found a path and decided to take it. It led me to a road, from which the fields were much better to observe.

I scanned everywhere and didn't see anything, even though I saw a soaring buzzard in the distance. I followed the nice trail, only to find it completely flooded. There was a huge, massive puddle in front of me. I just rode through it no problem, going very slowly. This was rather fun, actually. However, beyond I didn't find what I was looking for. I took the puddle again back and decided to return tomorrow, and return to the station. The sun was slowly setting, and as I rode to the station, I saw what I initially thought was a little owl on a pole in Chesterton Fen. However, when I zoomed in it turned out to be a green woodpecker, still great, though.

On the train back to Ely the train spooked a short-eared owl sitting next to the railway.
In short, despite the disappointment, an excellent day. I returned and was able to confirm that I was in the right place. I probably missed it due to the colossal hedges. I'll come back tomorrow to see it, hopefully.
Of course Cambs enters tier 4 tomorrow, so you might want to consider that.
Water levels are rising all round here, the Ibis could be moved on. Certainly by Sunday that whole area will be inundated.
 

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