The autumnal theme continued the next day. I set of north east from the Cairngorms, and drove for a couple of hours, reaching Loch of Strathbeg RSPB at about one. My primary target here was the juvenile Black Stork, but it was not showing on arrival. However, after a half hour wait, the bird was flushed from the long grass by a Grey Heron, and flew straight towards (and then past) the visitor center, giving excellent (though brief) views. Unfortunately I was caught off guard, and so didn’t manage any clear photos of the bird. but this (very blurred) record shot gives the general idea:
Interestingly, this bird was ringed as a chick in the Ardennes area (north-east France) earlier this year.
As well as this bird, there were good numbers of Greenshank and Black-Tailed Godwit present, with other noteworthy species such as Osprey, Whitethroat, Water Rail, Tree Sparrow and Common Tern all being seen.
A few days later, as we headed back to Wales at the end of the trip, I had a little reminder of the summer as I persuaded the family to make a short stop near Carlisle to see the breeding Bee-Eaters at Brampton (near Carlisle). At least two birds showed (though they were a bit distant for obvious reasons). It was great to see them anyway!