Stalking Storks

The love life of zoo animals isn’t normally of great interest to me, but as I was in Dalton yesterday I decided to check on the report that the free flying storks were nesting. Sure enough a pair could be seen from the A590. The image above is through my telescope.

I don’t know how long the birds have been sitting and whether the clutch is fertile. If they do succeed in fledging young it seems fairly clear that their offspring wouldn’t be ringed. This long distance view shows where the birds are nesting – they are at the right hand side of what I understand to be the vulture aviary on the roof.

I also went to Ormsgill Reservoir in the time between Barrow’s final game against Northampton and the end of season team awards. The Cetti’s Warbler continues to sing here, and there was also a Reed Warbler singing in a similarly small pocket of vegetation. A Little Grebe may be the first I’ve seen there in over 40 years, though it’s equally possible I’ve forgotten some. The Mute Swan ringed in Sheffield, Yorkshire still resides at the rezza after a year or so.

I also explored the slagbanks near the reservoir. The rezza was built to provide cooling waters to the steelworks, and the slag is the by-product of that industry. It sounds like the antithesis of nature but over the years it has been colonised by many plant species scarce elsewhere. It also offers commanding views over Walney Island and the Lake District fells.

Even though it’s early for Small Blue butterfly emergence I gave it a go. These have been found at the slag banks for several years now, possibly after an unofficial introduction. I walked past Paul Haughian taking photographs and it turned out he did see a single Small Blue. I’m going to have to wait a little longer for mine.

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