Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You May Call Me 'Cleopatra -Queen Of The Mud Flats!' - Glossy Ibis & Co.

Yesterday, while on my way to Weed For Dollars, I stopped at the marsh by Lobster Cove on Rt 216 in Phippsburg. It's a place I always check out for water fowl and that's where I got the shots of the weasle/mink/fisher CAT/dog/porpoise, whatever. It's a very busy little spot for wildlife, no matter what one calls it. Three years ago, I had seen two Glossy Ibises there hanging around with a couple of Snowy egrets. Even though I looked every time I went by, I had not seen them again since. Until TODAY! The muddy tidal inlet smelling of clams may not be the Nile, but I am definitely Cleopatra! I was treated by not only the Ibis, but it was with seven Snowies and this Great Blue Heron. They were on the east side of the marsh, a little too far away to get great photographs. I could get good shots, but not GREAT shots of them. Like Cleopatra wrapped up in a rug and sneaked into Julius Ceasar's bedroom, I sneaked down the embankment. I stopped behind a lone boulder. I stood there a while, then moved to the far side of the boulder and stopped again. I headed across the marsh with a stop-start wide zig zagging approach. Eventually, I was able to move all the way across the marsh until I was stopped by the channel. Like any queen, it's a good thing I dont actually have a boss. This whole affair took me an hour, so I would have been really late for work. But, I did get within 100 feet of the birds. They were fishing in a pool that was isolated on an outgoing tide. Little fish were trapped there which made the fishing easy for the waders. They were so engrossed in the 'fish in the barrel' that they didn't mind me at all. In these photos are Snowy egrets, a Great Blue Heron and a Glossy Ibis. Of the three, the Ibis is the least often seen here. Glossy Ibis are about 23" tall. You can see their relative size easily in these photos with the other waders. They winter along the Gulf Coast and Central and South America and breed here. They are found all along the east coast of the United States from Maine to Texas. They nest and roost in trees with other waders so it stands to reason that they would dine together, too. This was not the Sacred White Ibis of Cleopatra's Egypt, but it is my ibis and I am the Queen of The Mud Flats here!

"That's really gauche when you scratch in public like that! Gross!"
This shows the sizes of the three waders. For a birder, it could only have been better if there was a Great egret or maybe a Roseate spoonbill in there, too! To the ancient Egyptians, the ibis was the patron saint of writers. That's one more reason this ibis is my ibis.

"Okay, which one of you invited him? I KNOW I didn't!"
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  1. I will have to see if I can find this spot! Excellent photos series Robin!

    Maybe I will see a Monkey riding a Terradactyl! LOL

  2. "" Oh Cleopata"" "Queen of the Mud Flat" In that second photo did you have x's for them to stand on!! The Glossy Ibis..interesting looking fellow and great photos and interesting story about all who gathered there!!! PS..could Cleopata have had a camera...????? :}

  3. I know where it is, We call it "Milk Bottle Turn".

  4. Geez, you guys! Can't a girl have any secrets at all????

  5. Amazing. I see these on Merrymeeting Bay but only one at a time.

  6. Great pictures!

    Jeff Normandin

  7. Amazing photos and how close you were able to get to these beautiful creatures! Loved to have seen you in action! Good thing there wasn't an Asp near by Cleopatra, Queen Of The Mud Flats!

  8. Nice shots Robin. Both Great Blue Heron and Snowy Egret caused a stir over here in the UK last year when a Gret Blue was on the Scilly Isles (off Cornwall in southwest England) and a Snowy in Ireland.