Northern bald ibis, hermit ibis, or waldrapp (Geronticus eremita)

Driving south from Barbate towards Zahara today I was surprised to see some Ibis in a bit of farmland.bald-ibis2

I was not aware that these incredibly rare birds had been re introduced to this part of Spain. There is one small population of about 100 in Morocco which is easily visible from here. In fact I can see the lights of Tangiers across the water through my window as I am writing this. There is a web site where you can read a lot more about this bird

There were about 30 birds, they all seemed to be ringed and a few had transmitters attached to their backs.  They are free and wild and can fly off to where ever they want.bald-ibis3

They were just in a scruffy bit of farmland, not in any particular special habitat. It was odd that where I parked, next to us was another car and the occupants were out for some Sunday morning bird catching, which is illegal but is very popular in this part of Spain. So we had conservation and poaching right next to one another.bald-ibis4

If you look carefully you can see one in the foreground and another 3 in the field with the cows. Finally one more photo….  they may be rare but they are ugly though.bald-ibis1

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