Straw-necked Ibis are very common in the Murray Bridge district. It is quite easy to find loose flocks of dozens through to several hundred feeding in paddocks in this area. The river flats which are irrigated from the River Murray are regular places where these birds congregate. When food is scarce on the river flats, these birds can be seen flying in formation off to farming land away from the river.
There 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 in over twenty five years.
Today we observed a flock of about 70 Straw-necked Ibis land and begin feeding in the paddock opposite our driveway. This is noteworthy because they rarely come to that particular paddock; I’m not sure why. In the photo above you can see them resting a feeding. If I’d tried to get a closer photo I would have scared them away as there was no cover for me.
The photo also shows a male House Sparrow (out of focus) sitting on the fence post in the foreground. It also shows several large hay bales which the farmer had recently made. In the background the trees are the arboretum of the State Flora branch here. This is a commercial nursery supplying forestry needs as well as smaller nurseries and the general public.
Ibis often fly over head in large numbers. To my knowledge, on only one occasion has a Straw-necked Ibis landed on our five acre block of land. This individual is shown below.
Nice birds to have around.
And very useful when they eat all the snails and other undesirables. They keep the little white snails under control more or less – an introduced species – not sure of the name.