Wood Storks Return
At one time Wood Storks were common to abundant in the Lower Colorado River Valley. In 1910, a dozen were reported from Laguna Dam by J. Grinnel; in the 1800's there were large flocks. But since moving here in 1991, I haven't heard of one report. On June 16 I was taking South African friends Barry and Margie around Mittry Lake in search of Black Rails and other summering residents. As we pulled up to the Mittry Lake overlook (about 2 miles north of the pavement on Laguna Road) we saw five large juvenile Wood Storks perched in several low, dead trees. It's a swampy area with cattails, usually good for moorhens, coots, and Least Bitterns. But this was a first! I snapped a number of photos with both my SLR and using my digiscope setup (Sony DSC 7 held up to a Swarovski 65mm). Melody Kehl saw them farther off the next day. Searches in July did not turn them up again. Wood Storks are, however, fairly common at the Salton Sea in late summer. They are post-breeding visitors from Mexico.