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.
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.