Stork nesting in the Bay of the Somme

Nidification des cigognes en baie de Somme

Here are the pictures taken during a few stalking sessions near a nest of white storks (Ciconia ciconia) well accessible on the roadside, in the lower valley of the Somme, close to the Somme bay. A nice little spot because the small country road is not very busy and you are alone with the chirping of the birds most of the time. There is a lot of waiting to be done because the birds can be absent for a long time or remain almost motionless, dozing on the nest for a long time... Fortunately, there are other nests further away, too far for photos, but which still allow observation.

Seeing a stork come back with enough to add a floor to the nest is the reward for the wait! The construction of the nests continues from year to year and they can weigh 200 to 300 kg (or even much more and end up collapsing). The lady (?) shows her contentment by snapping her beak, head back, and each one goes to work to arrange the branches or the balls of mud thus brought back.

There is a bit of competition, so I could see another individual, either in search of a nest, or a supernumerary male in search of a female, trying to land on the nest occupied by "my" pair and being violently chased away!

With a bit of luck, storks can be found in the neighbouring fields and pastures. I observed 6 of them in a potato field, exploring the freshly dug furrows, sometimes with only their heads visible...

When I was last here, the brooding had begun, so I preferred not to risk disturbing them. See you in a few weeks to see if the young are present!

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