Blog

Fri 20th August 2010

Posted on August 21, 2010 at 3:35 PM

birds : The birding gods were smiling down on me today. So jammy was I this morning that I am thoroughly ashamed.

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Yesterday a few people had seen a group of 3 Black Storks flying around in the Rue Mainguy area late in the afternoon. This was incredible. Only one previous record in Guernsey - way back in 1962 - and I haven't seen a Black Stork since Israel 16 years ago. However, the news was not good as they had disappeared within half an hour, and anyway, I couldn't get out to search as Rosie was in bed (she works nights btw) and I was sorting the kids tea out, etc. So I was pacing the garden, looking skyward just in case, but I wasn't too disheartened, as I expected that they would roost somewhere overnight and I'd have a second opportunity to see them in the morning.

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So as soon as I could this morning, I checked a few likely sites such as Barras Lane, Vale Pond and Track Marais, in case the storks were feeding. But with no sign, I waited at home until the sun came out and the birds would start flying. And I was in the garden scanning when I received a much appreciated call from Jamie that the birds were up and flying again in a similar area as yesterday. The timing was terrible though, as Rosie had just driven away, and all 3 kids were still in the house in their pj's!

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So, action stations - I needed to get them all into the car within a minute and set off to look for them. Slight complication was I had to get Anais to Rosie first as she had an appointment, so I ran up to her room to get her dressed. Job done, I stuck my head out of the skylight and had a quick look westwards, and there in the distance were 3 dark spots circling slowly!!! I sprinted down the stairs to get my bins - but where the hell were they? - I had them a minute ago - into the garden, but I couldn't see the birds again with the naked eye - so back in the house to look for the bins again - how can they just disappear?? - into the playroom and there is Aidan parading around with them round his neck!! The little ***** - so I grab them off him quick and back into the garden, no sign - climb to the top of the climbing frame, no sign - so sprint back up the stairs, and as I glanced out of the landing window as I ran by, there they were, floating in the wind, really low, just beyond the row of houses opposite - Superb!

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Black Storks flying past the house

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But they immediately disappeared behind the large conifer opposite, so I ran back down again and grabbed my camera in case they came overhead. But they didn't. The stiff SW-erly pushed them further away towards Oatlands and when they appeared again from behind the conifer they were just little dots in the camera.

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the best photo I could get of the Black Storks - two birds here, and sort of a stork-shape to the blob!

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So, an extremely lucky sighting - I was struggling to get out and look for the birds, so they had the decency to come and see me, and I feel very privileged. It is just disappointing that I only had very brief views. As far as I know they weren't seen again and probably headed straight to the NE corner of the island, leaving from Fort Doyle back towards France.

Categories: Other Rarities, 2010 Summer