Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The needle and the spoon
From one bill shape to another (and back), both being attached to suitably whiter-than-white waterbirds. Certain species prefer to remain strangely anomalous, and of the three or four Spoonbills recorded locally since I arrived two years ago, all have sucessfully given me the body-swerve, despite increasingly near-misses.
But as a rare but annual visitor, it was only a matter of time, and happily an immature rewarded patience (and early rising) by overflying me at East Lea a couple of weeks ago (on the 19th). An hour or so later, and the spring's first Little Egret dropped in amongst the growing band of non-breeding Mute Swans, before being forcibly ejected by a Herring Gull and a Jackdaw.
What was presumably the same immature Spoonbill (there seem to be two or three touring the length of the coast this spring) then reappeared a few days later, this time having the good manners to drop in at the Dams and perform beautifully for much of the day.
Of course, any exotic and unfamiliar visitor raises the heckles of the locals around here (give me the strength not to make certain election-themed parallels) and it was soon the subject of unwanted attentions; less inclined to buckle quite so easily however, the bird weathered various storms and remained with us for much of the day.