Great Birding Moments #31: Glossy Ibis at last!

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo


I have finally seen a Glossy Ibis – and this one was not in a zoo or a walk-through aviary.

We had a reason to drive to Mannum this morning, about a half hour drive upstream from Murray Bridge. When we arrived I suggested to my wife that I would like about ten minutes birding at the wetlands just north of the town, near the caravan park.

This ten minutes stretched into about twenty minutes – my wife can be very patient. I managed a very good list of 38 species. I was just about to head back to the car when I spotted a solitary Glossy Ibis feeding on the mudflats about a hundred metres away. Because of the distance I didn’t even bother to take a photo. Instead I have included on this post two shots of this species taken recently in the walk-through aviary at the Adelaide Zoo.

After identifying the bird as a Glossy Ibis – and getting my wife to check it out for me to confirm it – I did a little dance. This species has been something of a bogey bird for me. I’d see it numerous times in zoos. I read about numerous sighting all over Australia – some in places I’d been just a day or two before. I knew they were widespread in many parts of Australia, but for over 30 years of birding this remained an elusive species for me.

What a relief.

Problem is now – which species takes over the mantle of Most Sought After Bird?

I’ve only got about 450 species to choose from!

For other Great Birding Moments click here.

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo


15 Responses to “Great Birding Moments #31: Glossy Ibis at last!”

  1. Snail says:

    *pops cork on champagne*


  2. John Tongue says:

    Hi Trevor,
    Congratulations! Both on seeing your Bogey, and on the great shots, even if they were from the Zoo.

    I could suggest plenty of birds which are still bogeys for us, but especially the mythical Owlet Nightjar.

  3. Trevor says:

    I’ll drink to that Snail! Thanks.

  4. Trevor says:

    Thanks John. Yes – I was rather pleased with those shots.

    As for the Owlet-Nightjar…. I too thought that they were mythical creatures of the night. We had heard their calls on many occasions around home here and when afar on camping expeditions. Then one magical afternoon our neighbours alerted us to one sitting out in the sun mid-afternoon in the scrub behind their home.

    Such delightful little birds. Amazing.

    Pity that it was before I bought my digital camera.

  5. […] my visit yesterday to Mannum (just north of home in Murray Bridge South Australia) I saw two Red-kneed Dotterels on […]

  6. John says:


    I didn’t know glossy ibises were so widespread.

  7. Trevor says:

    Thanks John. My understanding of the species is that they are relatively widespread in suitable habitat, but not present in large numbers anywhere.

  8. […] it was a very satisfactory morning’s birding. The big bonus was adding Glossy Ibis to my list for the first time. Getting a “lifer” is always satisfying. Wednesday […]

  9. Veery says:

    Congrats! A new bird is a wonderful feeling! I have only seen one Glossy Ibis, but wow! what a great bird!

  10. Trevor says:

    Thanks Veery. It certainly made my day. Hope you see plenty of new birds – and lots of familiar ones in the coming year.

  11. […] for half an hour and visit the wetlands at the small river town of Mannum. If we are lucky, the Glossy Ibis might still be […]

  12. […] are two types of Ibis common to this area. The Straw-necked and the White Ibis. Occasionally the Glossy Ibis can be found in this district as well, but it is uncommon. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one […]

  13. Michael says:

    This may be a bit belated, but congratulations!

    I have just been browsing through your blog and find it rather amusing, especially this story.

    My bogey bird up to last week was the purple crowned lorikeet, even though I know they are living and nesting in our scrub not 2 kilometres from our house thanks to every person I know being able to find them with relative ease, I could never manage to see them.
    Finally last week I was watching a pardalote as it landed not 20cm from a pair of sleeping purple crowns!.. talk about luck!

    All the best for the bird that has taken over as “most sought after”

  14. Trevor says:

    Hi there Michael – thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment.

    I understand your frustration only too well. Although PC Lorikeets are common around here and I often see then fly over head, I have yet to get a photo of one. Aaargh.

    In fact, a recent close encounter with this species was very rewarding but the attempt to get a photo nearly had me arrested. You can read about it here:

    Happy birding – and may you see your desired birds in every bush or tree.

  15. […] Glossy Ibis is one of three species of ibis found in Australia. The others are the White Ibis and the […]

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