I had a lovely birthday celebration, and now that my friend has left, am ready to share some photos of the White Stork, taken in the Algarve, in a place called Alvor.
The White Stork Ciconia ciconia
In Portugal, the stork is a protected species, and almost revered by farmers who appreciate and protect them.....
as the birds thrive on small mammals, lizards, snakes, and large insects, ...
which save the farmers having to buy expensive pesticides on their crops.
The storks often build their nests close to the marshlands or wetlands, where they can feast on frogs, and fish too.
This field had at least twelve nests, and after having a word with the farmer, we were allowed to photograph them.
They build their nests up high on tall chimneys, telegraph poles, electricity pylons, church steeples, as well as trees.
Their nests are a great engineering feat.
The adult stork reaches a standing height of 80 to 115 cm, and has a wing span of 195 to 215 cm.
It is in flight that they take on a grace and beauty which belies it's size, as it glides high in the sky with outspread wings.
I must have stayed in the field a few hours in awe of their size, as I watched them leave, and return to their nests.
The day was hazy, ...not the best of conditions to take photos, and....
We couldn't approach too near because of the chicks, so regretfully I have none to share.
Their were many storks foraging in the fields.
They are elegant creatures, even whilst foraging as they walk along at a gentle pace.
In the past twenty years, storks have begun to stay here all winter, and can be seen all over the south of Portugal.