Sunday, 29 July 2012

You just never know......

We've actually made it back to Exmouth now, so this is a bit of a round-up of the end of the trip. 

Cruising through the middle of Burton-on-Trent on the Trent & Mersey Canal I was surprised by a Helmeted Guineafowl hanging out with a couple of manky ducks. It's the second time I've seen one, the first one being a few years ago, again somewhere along the Trent & Mersey Canal, although at least that time it was out in the countryside. Presumably there's a farmer somewhere nearby who's losing a few.

Helmeted Guineafowl 
I visited the Willington Gravel Pits again, although I couldn't get in at first, and when I did I didn't find many birds anyway.

That's the entrance road not a river! I had no chance without wellies....
....and the water levels had obviously been much higher
We stayed in Willington for 4 days waiting for the rivers to go down to normal levels, then on Tuesday we decided everything was virtually back to normal & headed for home. As we cruised up the River Trent  approaching the junction with the River Soar, as usual, I was standing on the back with my bins whilst Captain Simon drove, after all you just never know what you might find....

We were turning right down the River Soar in front of the trees
There are some small ponds & a boggy area on the right, and as I scanned them I suddenly dropped the bins & grabbed the camera as I went into hyper-excited mode. I really wasn't expecting to see one of these....

A  Grey Heron & a Sacred Ibis!
A heavily cropped Sacred Ibis
They're an African bird, but there are apparently feral populations in France & Italy. So where did this one come from? Probably an escapee, but who knows! I sent the details to Birdguides & it went on the map as an 'unclassified' bird. I guess I can't count it on my Year List, which is a bit of a shame, but it was still great to find it. 

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