brought bright blue skies and what difference that has made! We were out and about and even had the temerity to open the sun roof of the car! It was just about ok with coats on as it was 11C outside.
|Yes those splodges are |cranes er no... storks,
As we left Charnizay driving along the Aigronne towards Le Petit Pressigny we saw a small group of
er... no storks, circling to gain altitude before flying away in a NE direction. The first we'd ever seen flying
of the year
! They were a bit distant by the time we parked the car but we did take some photos anyway.
A friend of ours who has lived in the Dordogne for years said she'd heard cranes over her house about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Obviously they have a break before they fly on --more or less over us-- towards a major stop-off point in the Champagne region [Lac du Der]. Sometimes we are lucky enough to hear and see them fly directly over the house. But these weren't cranes, these were storks
|The best shot we could get considering the distance|
It really set us up for the day to see them. Spring may not be here quite yet, but it is certainly on its way! For more information about the cranes try the RSPB crane webpage
where you can also hear a recording of what they sound like. For more information about storks have a look at the BTO's site
Our thanks to Susan
for raising the query about which bird, and to Tim
who knows what he's talking about when it comes to birds for having a good look at the pics and establishing that: no they aren't cranes, yes they are storks :-)! Evidently storks too would head in a NE direction to fly to Lac du Der in Champagne [according to the info on the BTO website] but they, unlike cranes do not make a noise; they fly silently.
Before this we'd only ever seen a single stork sitting on a nest high on top of a church in the Netherlands and never in flight.
Right: I think we've got ourselves sorted out now! Apologies! We do try and make sure that what we post is accurate.
As always you can enlarge the photos.
These look like storks to me. I've no doubt Tim can confirm their ID.
Hello Niall and Antoinette:
Blue skies, sunroof down and Cranes wheeling overhead. Spring surely has sprung. Still in the grip of winter chill here in Budapest!
@Susan - and Tim has indeed done so :-)
@Jane & Lance - blue skies yes but it is set to turn much colder over the next few days. So it isn't spring quite yet here either!
I'm sure I couldn't tell them apart either, but they always sound so exotic to me. :-) Blue skies here too, but the temperature is much lower and dropping, with a hard frost last night.
I've only ever seen single storks too (so am quite envious). Ken and Rose had a flock spend the night at their place in the Brenne a few years ago -- they sent me photos. The birds came down to sit out a storm and perched on anything they could find. Rose said it was quite spooky.
@Perpetua - they were quite a sight. And yes frost here this morning; but we don't mind as we have the sun :-)
@Susan - it was quite an event when the stork pair set up shop in what had been an abandoned nest not far from us in NL. We drove by [at a safe distance so as not to disturb] to see one sitting on the nest.
They did come back the next year but not the year after that.
A great spot...
Talking of which...
I've got the plans for a Stork nestbox...
all you need is a tall chimney... and...
an old cartwheel!!
And, around here...
@Tim - thanks for your expertise :-)
Stork or crane, they were indeed great to see.
What a wonderful sight! I know there are some magnificent wildlife sights in the UK, but birds that big are just so impressive to see. I'm jealous.
One of my favourite books as a child was "The wheel on the School" by Meindert DeJong which is about some children at a Dutch primary school who are trying to set up a cartwheel on the school roof that will attract storks to nest. First find your wheel... Pauline
@AJ - they were a first for us and did look magnificent against the blue sky.
@Pauline - don't know the story at all. Suspect here even if you did find one some person would climb up to nick it to replace a broken one on their cart!
Over the past couple of years we've learnt a lot from our local 'wildlife experts' aka S&S and T&P.
We'd have thought they were cranes...
@Gaynor - so have we :-)
We didn't pay attention to noise when we saw the storks but Tim told us the quick way to sort them out: cranes make noise [which we knew] storks don't [which we didn't]
We'll be down in the Loire at the end of next week, so I am going to be watching the corn fields. I'd love to see them.
@Aussie - Good luck :-) They are a lovely sight.
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