Sorting through some photos I took in 2015, I came across this one, taken at maximum zoom level with a less than adequate camera.
It shows one of the many temporary residents in my hometown who usually return in late February/early March of every year and, at least to me, signal that spring is near. This photo was a quick photo taken on March 6th.
The “ceremony” has been the same every year. One shows up, circles around for a few days and rests on top of the Catholic church (yes, the one that has the charm of a WWII bunker) after an extensive trip to its summer residence. Usually, after a few days, it will disappear and settle down in one of the many nests the local population and a slew of bird aficionados have provided for the growing stork population around here.
Then, towards the end of its stay, it will return to the church “spire”, usually with a number of extended family members in tow, spend a couple of days there, often in rather nasty weather, and then … disappear.
That’s when the first nasty cold front usually hits us.
P.S.: A large number of dedicated individuals have been working hard since the middle 1990s on the resettlement of a stork population in the larger area around here. Statistics show that since 1996, those efforts have increased the number of offspring from merely 5 to nearly 450 in 2014. Unfortunately, many storks were lost because of seemingly endless power lines strung across hundreds of high-voltage pylons around here.