Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Sacred Ibis: the god of Science and wisdom.

I had to pop out this morning, so I thought I'd have a scan of Breydon Water for the reported Spoonbill: a bit of a mistake, as it turned out, since there was a half-hour hold up on the Acle Straight. Still, when I finally arrived it was quite pleasant to walk in the sun in the company of a great guy I met at Cley last week: although a comparative late-comer to birding, he seems to have a very realistic approach and obviously enjoys adding to his knowledge. Lots of ducks and waders (including a very large raft of Avocets) but no Spoonbill. Plenty of Hares frolicking on the grazing marshes...

As I sat in the traffic I saw one of the Thrigby Storks sail over the road, causing me to reflect on the pleasure they bring many people, while frustrating serious listers in equal measure with their 'untickability'. A recent post on a well-known web forum was discussing the presence of a Sacred Ibis in Sussex: several posters have suggested it should be killed, citing the potential harm this species can do to amphibians. A couple of Norfolk birders have stated that Natterjack Toads and even Tern colonies are at risk from this curious-looking bird (I saw it - or another - at Cley a while back!)

Just to play the Devil's Advocate: surely amphibians of all sorts are equally at risk from Cranes, Storks, Glossy Ibis and the rapidly-expanding Egret population, many of which also originate in France or as UK escapes. Why pick on the poor old Sacred Ibis?

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