Incredible Okçular!

Black and White

We had a treat here in Okçular today – a rather uncommon visitor dropped in on Black Lake for a quick bite before moving on. Ciconia nigra, Black Storks stopped by on their way from equatorial regions of Africa to their nesting grounds in northern Turkey and Europe

Ciconia nigra distribution

yellow – breeding range; blue – wintering range; green – year round

Relying, as they do, on thermals to assist their long passage-making, they tend to use three overland corridors – in the West they follow the coast and cross into Europe via Gibraltar; in the central Med they cross from Tunisia and then island-hop through Malta and Sicily into Italy. In the East they use the Red Sea, Sinai, Syrian shoreline before swinging a left along the Turkish coast and then north through the Bosphorus and then spreading out to their breeding grounds across Europe and Russia.

Most of us living here in Turkey are familiar with the Black Stork’s close cousin, the White Stork. The Whites are much more tolerant of us humans. Blacks, on the other hand are shy and wary creatures choosing to live away from human disturbances and so getting a chance to see them is a rare treat. In the past, on odd occasions, we have seen single Blacks and couple of  times there have been two of them feeding up on the lake before disappearing as quickly as they arrived. Today, J set off in the car only to rush back to let me know that there were black birds on the lake. The lens I had available is a 300mm and the birds were a long way off – this is the best I could do . .

Black and White Storks1a White arrives to keep the blacks company

Black and White Storks2

. . here are some pics from serious photographers . .

Black Stork1a couple of adults

Black Stork2

Black Stork juvanile

a juvenile

Such beautiful creatures . .

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü


16 thoughts on “Black and White

  1. Alan, What a thrill!! Mark is always on the watch for them having spotted some the first summer we were on the island. They don’t travel in huge crowds like the whites so one must be particularly on the alert. Now that you have alerted us, we’ll have our binoculars out and searching. We’re out to the island today for the duration. Cheers!

    1. Have a great, relaxing time on the island – Don’t know what plans may unfold for us but if we are up your way then be prepared to ward-off interlopers 😀

  2. Maybe we saw some of these same creatures in Africa last winter…
    A pleasure to sit down this evening to catch up on overdue blog posts and find your usual mix of amusing wordplay, inspirational stories, and great photos (even if from afar).

    1. . . not at all – wet/flooded fields are a favorite. Just lucky enough to be in the right place as they stop off for a brief food stop.

  3. The black storks are beautiful. We were lucky enough to be crossing a river at the same time as one of them, but that was on Lesvos last year. Plenty of regular white storks sitting on their nests here in Selçuk though maybe not as many as last year.

  4. Brilliant I know your be feeling really pleased to have caught them on your camera, well spotted. I’ve not seen one for real yet but I know there’s still time !!!!!

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