Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Stork In Scotland

Imagine this: you're on the bus coming home, and you pass three people standing with spotting scopes at the edge of a field.  Of course you wonder what they're looking at and look out over the field, but you don't really expect to see it because of the hedge, and the fact that it is most likely an LBJ (Little Brown Job - one of those many little birds that all look alike to those of us without twitcher sixth senses).  As you get further along the field, you think you're not going to see anything and start to settle back into your seat.  But then, then you spot something.  Something big.  Big, and white, and definitely not a swan...  Too big to be a Little Egret, the only other white bird you can think of that stands up like that, like a heron.  It looks like a Stork.  HOW can it be a Stork?  This is Scotland!  But it is, and you know it is.  You've just seen a Stork, on the big puddle, in the fields near your house.  The bus carries on while you stare back until you can't see it anymore, a mixture of disbelief and elation fighting for control.

That is what happened to me last Friday.  The best part was that my dad was in when I got home.  We went out to get a better look at it, and I got photos.  The photos are not great because the stork was too far away, even using the zoom lens, and these are cropped quite a lot.  But it's a STORK!!!  And the bird is a presumed escapee - there are apparently a few around Britain who wander around, especially when they feel like they should be migrating but aren't really sure where to go (this might explain the appearance on a puddle, in a field, next to a road, in Scotland - it pretty much sounds like a really bad package deal to a holiday resort under construction).  BUT IT'S A STORK!!!  I don't really care if it is an escapee - the reality is that the bird has been living wild for a while now and it must be doing a pretty good job because it seemed quite happy.  Not only that, but he/she made me fantastically happy.  It's not every day you see an exotic bird hanging out near your house, and I will be examining every puddle in every field from now on, just in case it turns up again!

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