Saturday, 31 May 2014

Painfully close to Black Stork

At 11:10 this morning I got the news of the Black Stork (thanks Kev and Mark) that flew WSW over Dawlish Warren and then Haldon. I was out the door in a shot with my scope and running up to a view point close to my house which overlooks Dartmoor, the Teign Valley, Haldon, and the airspace above the estuary...

Kev reckoned it would come out somewhere around Chudleigh, so I focused my sky scanning there but also looked over the estuary just in case it decided to fly south. I was actually pretty confident I would see it - "how can I miss a massive bird on a flight course basically right towards me," I thought! Well, after an hour of seeing nothing but Buzzards, I started loosing hope. Absolutely no sign of it. There was a flock of about 40 gulls circling distantly, but nothing nearby. I almost had a heart attack when a heron flew past, and seeing it with the naked eye first, I seriously thought I'd be seeing the stork when I lifted my bins!

After two and a half hours of watching I admitted defeat and headed back home. If only it continued in the direction it was seen from the Warren, I'm sure I would have seen it. So close, and really really annoying! :-(

Two days ago, the second Bee-eater of the year flew south over Teignmouth, so I spent yesterday searching the farmland south of the estuary on the off chance that I would relocate it, but kind of inevitably, I failed! Oh well - I'm sure I'll get lucky in the future if I keep looking.

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