I have spoken on here in the past about the methods I like to use to record my wildlife sightings when I am out and about (link is over in the sidebar), but I freely admit that my home office and this blog are often their final destinations. It may just be an excuse but I find that I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to formatting them into a suitable state for submission to the local county recorders. This is something that I aim to change over the coming months as I realise how valuable everyones records are. The reason for revisiting this subject is that I have just finished putting together a report for the East Glamorgan county recorder David Gilmore concerning my sighting of a Glossy Ibis at Kenfig NNR. Not only is this my first official submission for the county but probably also the rarest species I have ever self found. As a result I wanted to make sure I got enough detail down for the record to be accepted. I am one hundred percent confident in my sighting but putting a description into words is surprisingly hard when you can’t just say “well it just looked like one”. Hopefully I have got the tone and content about right but I will certainly be practicing to make future submissions even better. I have included my description below.
Location: Kenfig NNR main pool
Species: Glossy Ibis
Reporter: Adam Tilt
Sitting in the north hide on Kenfig pool I became aware of a large black bird flying along the opposite side of the lake. Although initially seen above the remains of the old boathouse I cannot say for certain if it had taken off from the field behind or had simply flown in from further away at low level. I was able to watch the bird fly the length of the pool along the shore in a southerly direction, slowly climbing as it passed in front of the caravan park. It circled briefly in an area roughly in line from the hide to the visitor centre before flying off over the trees in the direction of Sker Point at which time it was lost from view.
For the entirety of the sighting I was able to view the bird through my binoculars (Opticron 8×42) at a closest distance of approximately 150m. The bird had a distinctive long, thin, downcurved bill that was grey in colour. It’s body was long and thin with an outstretched neck and long trailing legs. The wings were broad and relatively rounded exhibiting slightly separated feathers at the tips. Overall colour appeared black but there was a lighter region underneath the wings stretching from the body towards the tips. Best comparison size wise was with a recently passed Cormorant which was larger and bulkier and lacked the curved bill and trailing legs.
I am familiar with this species after having previously observed the flock at Burry Port in September 2009 and from sightings abroad in Florida.