Glossy Ibis visits Martin Mere

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A Glossy Ibis arrived at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre this week.

It was first seen on the reserve on Sunday June 1, 2014. The last time the species was seen at Martin Mere was back in 2008 when a flock of six flew over the reserve.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

It is a rare sight in the UK as this bird prefers the warmer habitats of the Mediterranean but very occasionally will come over to the UK – it is actually categorised as a “scarce visitor”, so we were really excited to see it appear on the reserve on a sunny Sunday.

They live and breed around wetlands, preferring the marshy areas at the edges of lakes, making Martin Mere an ideal location.

Although the usual range of the Glossy Ibis is on the continent, historical records mention a ‘black curlew’ in the UK, which sketches show was actually a Glossy Ibis.

Due to drainage and development, many of the wetland habitats where this bird used to live were destroyed. Overall the population trend worldwide is decreasing – so to see one on the mere is exciting and a sign that wetlands like Martin Mere are playing a vital role for wildlife.