Thursday, 20 April 2017

Bald-Headed Ibis in Spain

Back in, 2014 we made an excursion to try and find Bald-Headed Ibis at Vejer de la Frontera, Cadiz province in Spain, with the focus on first trying to find some and then photograph these rare birds.

To reiterate what we said then, they are critically endangered, they are still found in Morocco and now Spain, following the Spanish re-introduction program They had also existed in Syria in small numbers, but the last years, have obviously been bad for the Syrian birds and as of now we still do not know their fate! 
This February we arrived once again at Vejer de la Frontera, it is here that the re-introduced birds have made their own roost and nest site. First released onto the cliffs near Barbate, after gull predation at the release site, they found this roost for themselves.
It appeared the Ibis were doing well, once again the weather was not great for us, these are the pictures we managed to take of them up on the cliff face.

All the birds carry multiple Identification rings.

In 2014 some of the birds had radio telemetry devices fitted on their backs, none were seen this year.

A bald-Headed Ibis returns to the roost, looking like a flying witch!

When a bird arrives back at the site, there seems to be an act of welcome or courtship!

At times quite a few birds arrived together, as they queued to enter the hollows in the cliff face, there seemed a familiar resemblance to the opening of the British Parliment, Black rod, cloaks, drivel and all that pageantry!

From the cliff face, they launch directly over the Cattle Egret colony below, it may be a coincidence but their original release site had been alongside an Egret colony also.

Press on the link http://roadrunnersmikelinda. to see the Cattle Egret colony.

Others find higher vantage points to watch over the proceedings below.

They appear to be doing well, there are now other areas across Cadiz province where they can be seen, along with a few in Portugal and a tagged bird from Vejar de la Frontera has turned up in Morocco. With other programs underway in Austria and Switzerland let us hope the bird that was once nicknamed the
'forest Raven'
will continue making good progress.

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