Saturday, April 17, 2021

White-Faced Ibis

I've had two prior sightings of white-faced ibis, here and here, and only poor photos to show for them. However, today I hit the jackpot and saw hundreds and hundreds of them. 
An ibis by the edge of the field I was able to isolate. Note that it is not in breeding plumage.

First, while traveling down Forrester Road, just north of Westmoreland, near the Salton Sea, there was a canal shooting water between two fields and hundreds of the ibis were congregated about the water and out in the fields. They were regularly flying in and out in big flocks. I both walked over near the canal for photos and stopped along the field and got photos of the flying ibis. The air was thick with them when they flew. 
A very small portion of the large flock at the outer edge. 

Note this bird which is in breeding plumage. 

In Niland, off McDonald Road, in the habitat maintained by the water district, I saw two groups of the ibis. One group was intermingling with some dowitchers and another group of about eight were feeding alone in a swamp habitat. 
Breeding plumage

Non-breeding plumage.

The sun was shining brightly which brought the color out in the birds. They are gorgeous when the sun hits their bodies right. Most were in breeding plumage which includes reddish legs and bare pink skin in front of the eye bordered by white feathers. 

I've seen lots of different ibis, but this was by far the largest group, by many magnitudes, I've ever seen. 

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