Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hey pretty bird, are you lost? (ibis in Ottawa)

Well, I certainly didn't think I would be posting again so soon--that doesn't happen much these days! And with a new bird, and a spectacular bird, no less. I don't know why I did, because I'm out of the habit, but I happened to check Ontbirds today and saw that there were a bunch of reports of a glossy/white-faced ibis in Carp. I haven't chased a bird in ages, but the posting woke the birder in me and I could not resist. As soon as I logged off work, I headed out to the flood plains. I spotted it no problem, but the reach on my zoom wasn't really good enough. I cursed myself for not buying the 80-400 that was listed on Kijiji a while the time I thought it was too much and I couldn't justify it (knowing that all I really take pictures for is this blog), and now I'm like, "what was I thinking? they only wanted $850." In what freaking universe does $850 sound like a great deal on a lens? Apparently my universe today. If I heard myself say this two years ago, I think my head would have fallen off.

Anyways, we tried from a different angle and ran into a bunch of well-known birders there, including Tony Beck and his wife Nina, and a few others. This kid shows up on his bike and bins hung over his shoulder, and turns out it's Ben, Bruce's son...I'm like, this kid can't even grow a beard but can bird me out of the water (he's the one who sighted the ibis in the first place). Actually, it was pretty inspiring to see a kid who cares about this kind of stuff. Anyways I was kind of starstruck by all the local birding glitterati. LOL.

There were a few scopes on the ibis so I did at least get a look. However, a bunch were debating whether it was a glossy or a white-faced ibis, or a hybrid. To be honest, I really couldn't tell and would have just assumed it was a glossy. It seems to be that this particular spot lends itself to debates on identification...last time it was about cackling geese!
 After staying put for quite some time, another bird put the run on it, and it flew right in front of us.
(Couldn't get ANY useful info)
Heading back to the road after the ibis took off.
Everyone was making calls discussing the bird and latest developments. I got another brief glance at it after Matt was smart enough to turn down March toward where it took off and it was in plain sight from the road. I jumped out, got a crummy shot (below) before a few gulls put the run on it once more. The rest of them saw us stopped on the side of the road and we had to explain that they just missed it.
So, it was sort of bittersweet. I clearly saw a new bird but can't really claim it since it seems nobody can agree on what it was! Anyways, it was absolutely beautiful. Another excuse to travel to far and exotice places!

UPDATE: Several birders are now convinced that it is a white-faced. Am I safe to count? Honestly, I still feel uncomfortable about it. As of the latest reports, the bird is still there.


Funkysandman said...

wow, nice looking bird..if I wasn't away I'd be there too! maybe it'll stay until i get back???

dwaynejava said...

Great find Jenna! I agree that it looks like a white faced, as it looks more pink-ish than blue-ish. Of course, the colours change depending on season... Congrats on getting past the 150 mark!

dwaynejava said...

Also... love the reflection on lens purchasing. Not many people outside of the birding photography know what 400mm even means and would be willing to spend in the $1000+ price range.

Funkysandman said...

my dad & rick stopped by to see the ibis too. while they had their backs turned, a lady fell in the river! they rescued her but $$$$ canon lens was a write off

deepdowndawn said...

Thanks guys!
Sandy, I heard about the woman going in with her 7d! So they must have seen it before I did then.
I think you'd have better luck finding one where you are now than this one sticking around till you get back (glossy anyway) lol