|The Door of Fortune|
Our house is at the highest point sandwiched between RVCP, Ulley, Treeton and Orgreave and decent fly-over birds are not too uncommon with highlights such as Whimbrel (21 whilst I was laying the patio in the above pic), Whooper Swan, Hobby and almost daily Common Terns in the summer. Anyway back to the door. I had almost finished sanding one side when to the north I noticed a group of four birds flying lazily west. They were fairly distant and I assumed (without binoculars) that they must be large gulls! As I looked at them more closely I realised that they weren't gulls but something bigger, probably herons. Herons that were flying on almost flat wings! At this point I ran for the bins' hung up in the hall. Leaping back into the garden I raised the bins and was hit with the almost surreal view of four White Storks- shiiiiiiittt.... I then went a bit nuts, ran back through the house screaming "get out to the front" to Jo and Beth, who assumed that (by the noise I was making) some scumbag was halfway down the road carrying our TV. I grabbed the camera, stood in the road in bare feet and couldn't see them - was I imagining it all. Fortunately I wasn't as I then picked them up over the neighbours houses still drifting slowly west. Raising the camera I then pealised there was no memory card in it!! Fortunately the compact was in the car and did have a card in it. I managed a feu record shots before they disappeared over the roof line of the houses opposite. The next 30 minutes was a blur. I made a few phone calls, drank some sweet tea, did a little dance around the house and contemplated that actually these birds were most likely the first genuine wild White Storks that I'd seen in Britain! These were presumably the same birds that had been seen at Lakenheath on 28th May and likely four of the original six (wild birds) that have been touring the south since April. Whatever their provenance the sight of them over the house was pretty spectacular.