Birdwatching For White Storks | The Best Place To Stay
In summer, from around December when the White Storks, Ciconia ciconia start to arrive, through to mid and sometimes even late March, before they start their epic journey of some 11700 kilometres back to Europe, the White Storks visit us in great numbers, seen in fields and following the plough.
Not only a marvel in the air but real masters when it comes to landing that huge frame on the smallest of tree branches, here at Amohela ho Spitskop Country Retreat, the blue-gums surrounding Dassie House provide the perfect roosts. Any dead trees and branches have been especially left for birds to roost, and we can have well over a hundred White Storks and some Abdims storks flying in low and roosting overnight.
At the end of a busy day feeding in the lands, the White Storks return to the trees for the night, and here at Amohela ho Spitskop Country Retreat our tall dead trees have been used over the years by countless White Stork visitors. We are fortunate to be on their migration route and it is always breath-taking to watch them as they approach in a smooth silent glide and then a controlled flap of those giant wings before the final touch-down onto the smallest of branches. This usually occurs after sundown when darkness is falling yet they are so accurate and, with a minimum of fuss they have landed and balanced, ready to rest.
All settled and ready to sleep, we sometimes have upwards of a hundred birds in the trees. It is amazing to see these living statues, perfectly balanced usually on just one leg too. As new arrivals fly in to roost they are greeted with that typical White Stork bill clattering, quite awesome to stand close by and listen, so very special. They turn to face the wind if there is any and awake early at first light, most birds will have left the trees for the feeding lands even before the sun is up.
Truly an enigma ,Ciconia ciconia you are always welcome here at Amohela ho Spitskop, you may rest and feed awhile before you continue your epic journey...... fly high, fly safe.
Our birding checklist of some 250 species can be downloaded under the Activities section of our beautiful website: www.amohela-ho-spitskop.co.za