Saturday, July 21, 2012

Young storks ready to make their own way

Today we took a quick trip to the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve to check on the progress of the  baby storks. It has been a few weeks since we saw the oldest of the young fledglings standing on their nests flapping their wings in preparation for their first flight.

The first storks we encountered were the ones nesting on the cow barn. A few of the nests were empty but others had baby storks, in the same black and white colours as their parents, standing perched on their nests. One nest was a complete shambles, the nest where the four babies lived. These were among the last to hatch. There they were all standing waiting for the mother stork to appear with their food and they weren't disappointed. Mother arrived and fed the very hungry young. Long open beaks begged the mother to feed them first. As well the mother seemed to regurgitate some food, which was quickly gobbled up.

We moved past the big field where the most nests are, but they were all empty; however there were lots of storks in the field, young and old, some foraging, others standing on one or two legs and others just sitting down enjoying the sunshine.

On the way back to the main pond we stopped for a few minutes to watch a serp d'aigua snake cross back and forth across the road before disappearing. We noticed the second wave of figs growing on the trees but they aren't ripe yet. Once nearly ripe they are picked very quickly.

At the pond we watched two roller ducks feeding upside down with feet kicking like mad making splashes high up in the air. A few other rollers were swimming around and some  were in hiding in the tall reeds. The male rollers are readily identifiable with the vibrant purple patch on their wings. It is very different from a few months ago, with the back pond now almost completely dry. We're looking forward to the cooler weather when the Aiguamolls becomes more lively once again.

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