I had a brief and pleasant walk at Stanwick Lakes one lunchtime this week. The sun shone and there were lots of birds around.
A common sandpiper meant that it was either autumn or spring. An adult yellow-legged gull made it more likely that it was late summer as that is when I see most of them here. On two separate occasions a hobby scared all the birds and then headed up the valley to the south west. The sand martins, swallows and house martins were also heading in a southwesterly direction. There was nothing much in the way of song. It’s autumn.Everything made sense, except for one bird, a rather beautiful bird, but a bird out of place. I’ve seen sacred ibises in Africa, and on the cover of The Ibis (the journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union), but I don’t expect to see them here in east Northants. But there was one walking past the lapwings and black-headed gulls and mallards and gadwalls. They are all expected species but it is not.
This sighting wasn’t completely unexpected as the bird has been around for a while, it’s just that I hadn’t seen it.
A pretty bird, and well worth looking at, but not entirely welcome. This bird is thought to be a bird from Cheshire but sacred ibises are numerous on the other side of the Channel and seem to be expanding their range from escapes or artificial releases. There are fears they may hoover (or vacuum, or Dyson) up some ground nesting birds. Will Stanwick Lakes’s common terns suffer next year – they suffered from being flooded out this year!
Nice bird in the wrong place?
I haven’t seen a ruddy duck for years now.