At a local birthday party I was looking at the photos on the High Halstow hall wall and was intrigued to see this one entitled Storks and Decoy Farm.

For those who don't know this location, it is an old farm building on the North Kent Marsh. It was dated 1935, looking at my 1945 edition of The Birds of the North Kent Marshes there is mention of the attempted re-introduction to the UK of the White Stork, a bird that last nested in the UK (Scotland) in 1416. However, the book puts the attempt being in 1936, but what's a year in 6 centuries.

For reasons not explained it was a failure, of the 12 eggs from Germany only one hatched and that chick died soon after apparently. After that 23 youngsters were brought over, 19 fledged and 'flew the nest' mid-August never to be seen again, so a partial success, but hardly a re-introduction.

Having lived in Southern Spain for a couple of years, in the Summer months they were pretty much everywhere, in the country, on the roof-tops of our local Andalucian town amongst all the hustle and bustle of Spanish life and traffic to boot. The beak clacking is a sound I will always remember.  Given the weather was a little more amenable, this does not explain why they are not here when they are in Holland and as far north as Finland. 

With the recent expansion into our shores of species of the heron family, cranes and stilts, maybe the Storks will return of their own volition, I have to say some of the species of mammal we've lost over the years ie wolves, eagles etc I was a little surprised it's 600 years since they last bred.

As usual, most species are lost because we either eat them or they eat things we eat.

Add to that list in modern times, killing species because we want to kill another species for pleasure. 

Anonymous