Bulletin 9 - November 1979: Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus (137)

Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus (137)

by Bish Brown

An uncommon passage migrant that has occasionally been seen in Abu Dhabi in recent years. The latest specimen arrived in Abu Dhabi Sewage Farm on September 2 and was observed by several members of the Group on various occasions until it moved on about 24th of the month. My only previous record is on 28th April 1977, in company with John Stewart-Smith.

Looking like a dark, almost black, curlew, the Glossy Ibis stood more upright and looked longer than a curlew (both are approximately 22 inches). Although clearly visible, it spent its time feeding in shallow water along low banks of salt busy lining the inflow from the sea, never approaching near enough to be photographed. It was probably feeding on a mixture of insects and small mollusks found on the mud flats.

Regular visits to the Sewage Farm by more members would probably show that more unusual birds pass Abu Dhabi Island than we are currently recording.


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