One of the nearest and clearest avian encounters on my recent birding trip to England’s north east was our sighting of a Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) at Druridge Pools.
This is a large bird, similar in many ways to a heron, but the Glossy ibis has a beautifully rich plumage in vibrant shades of bronze and green. The Glossy is not strictly speaking a British bird – it can be found in the warmer parts of Europe, Asia and the Americas – but these birds have been visiting Britain more frequently in recent years (I saw my first at RSPB Ham Wall last year).
This particular Glossy ibis eluded us when we first arrived at Druridge – it had been scared off by photographers getting too close and a tractor driving by – but, luckily for us, it later returned to the site and was grazing within a few yards of the fence so we had outstanding views of it. I even managed to take a short video.