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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sunrise surprise

It was 6 a.m.  I saw the flock in the distance, and I thought it looked different, but I didn't follow up on that instinct until they came closer.  And then I had to scramble for my binoculars and camera.

The birds kept flying to the south, and the light was still dim, so I didn't end up with sharp pictures but they're good enough for an interesting record!

Can you tell what species they are?

Here's another view (below).  I can also share that they had a distinctive flight style long glides alternating with a short series of relatively strong wing beats.

These are ibis, and likely White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi).  Scan carefully and note the long outstretched neck, long trailing legs, and long down-curved bill.

Did you count how many were in the flock?  It's easiest to use the first picture.  (My answer is below the next image.)

I counted 16 ibis that's a relatively high number for this area. White-faced Ibis don't nest here.  It's more likely these individuals were passing through on their way to breeding grounds further north.

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