Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stork Sighting

Back in early March, when I had just finished Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, I posted some musings about her book, and her dystopian vision of a spring without songbirds.  Reading the book in Lithuania made me a little uneasy, because up to that time we had encountered only pigeons and crows (and one majestic magpie) here in Siauliai.

Spring has now sprung—the temperature went up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, Easter Sunday—and we’re starting to hear songbirds, though they keep their distance, and the few we have seen were too small or too far away to be identifiable.  We don’t expect our neighborhood here to replicate our busy backyard in Alexandria, a happy home to sparrows, catbirds, cardinals, titmice, juncos, nuthatches, finches, pileated woodpeckers, and, of course, robins.  Still, we’re hoping for some birdsong to arrive along with the crocuses and forsythia.

And now we have seen our first stork.  In February and March we saw what were obviously stork nests, but they were always empty because storks migrate to Africa for the winter.  But when they return to the Baltic states in the spring, they reoccupy the same homes that they abandoned in the fall.  While we were riding the bus home from Tallinn on Saturday, we saw one settling into its nest.  Farmers regard them as talismans.  As the photo above demonstrates, they are big and graceful in flight (though somewhat ungainly on their feet). 

And as the photo below demonstrates, it is amazing what Google delivers when you search for “stork images.” 

Both of the images attached to this post are stock photos copied from the internet.


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