Thursday, June 23, 2005

White Storks in Somerset

Dan and I trecked down to the Somerset Levels on Sunday to track down a couple of White Storks that had stayed for a few days. A smooth journey saw us arrive before 9:00am to the site where they were last seen. On the way we had a false alarm as I spotted a distant 'stork' moving around in a field. With Dan's 'scope set up we were treated to the sight of an empty white plastic bag. Fluttering around in the wind to scare crows, no doubt. We next travelled on to the site where they were last seen. No luck. We decided to drive a circuit of the area and hope we could pick them up. On driving south we spotted an area of raised ground with a small chapel on top, Barrow Mump. This looked like a good vantage point to scan the surrounding area. Wise move! After about 15 minutes, Dan spotted a lone bird about a mile away. Life tick for Dan, UK tick for me. After watching the bird we decided to try to get a little closer. Driving to the exact site was difficult but we were rewarded after a little drive back and for of a bird flying in low in a field next to the car. We jumped out and spent 10 minutes or so watching the bird soar close by, shortly followed by the second bird, soaring high in the distance. Great! On the return journey we took a short detour to pick up the Ring-necked Duck in Avonmouth. Another year tick, but what a stink in the Avonmouth Sewage Treatments Works NR.

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