Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ready to Fly: Storks in Zamora

It´s not unusual to see storks in the centre of Zamora. I could hardly believe it, all the same, when I first saw one pass overhead. It was warm enough, then, to sit in the Plaza Mayor and drink gin-tonic, Spanish size.

Sweeping over distant rooftops with legs and necks outstretched they circle like low-flying aircraft, then suddenly appear overhead, casting a shadow. The separated black wing feathers are clearly visible.

Yesterday they were unusually numerous, seven or eight circling all at once. Even the locals stood with faces upturned as I made my way to the library at 6pm. The birds not on the wing were perched on nests around the Plaza Mayor , or standing on chimneys, looking as if they might launch themselves any minute.

When I left the library an hour later it was dark and there was heaviest rainfall I´ve ever seen here . When I mentioned the birds´ unusual behaviour to Olga this morning she suggested they were getting ready to fly South. Like me, they know it´s almost time to go, but they´re savouring their final days in Zamora.

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