Earlier this week a Glossy Ibis was seen on the flood meadows in the Park. Resembling a dark coloured Curlew and about the same size as our resident Little Egrets, the Glossy Ibis is an unusual visitor to our shores. They are found in many parts of the world and there are large colonies in Spain and Portugal. Outside of the breeding season they venture further afield, some reaching Britain. They used to be considered a rare vagrant here but in more recent years they are being seen more often.
Their long down-curved beak is used for probing for invertebrates such as worms and beetles, plus amphibians and small mammals. Their plumage appears very dark, but when seen in good light, they are well named as their plumage is glossed with green, purple and bronze.
The main photo is courtesy of Rob Heasman and the other one courtesy of Jeff Penfold.