Winged guest pays a call

The stork at Banton Loch
The stork at Banton Loch

A RARE visitor was spotted in Banton recently.

The white stork could have been be a migrant bird on its way back from Africa. It may have overshot the white stork’s traditional breeding grounds in Europe and will hopefully find its way back.

Or according to Paul Carter of the Scottish Wildlife Trust it could possibly be an escapee.

He said: “A white stork has occasionally been spotted over the last few years in Central Scotland, flying between the Forth and the Clyde.

“This bird has a faint metal ring on its leg, down near the foot.

“Either way this white stork no doubt found the Kelvin Valley to its liking. We have plenty of wetlands including Twechar Marsh, Dumbreck Marsh, the Forth and Clyde Canal, Banton Loch, Dullatur Marsh and Banton Mill Pond.

“Right now all these places are full of mating frogs, toads and newts, ideal white stork food.”

The white stork is a very impressive bird.

Much bigger than a heron. Its bright white body, black wing edges, red legs and long bill really make it stand out, as Jamie Graham and Archie McLaren found when they spotted it at Banton Mill Road.

Europe is the white stork’s main stronghold.