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Stork takes up residence on a chimney in Long Stratton

PUBLISHED: 18:06 24 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 25 September 2017

Nosey stork. Picture: Andrew Smith

Nosey stork. Picture: Andrew Smith

Archant

A stork that stopped off on its way to North Africa has taken up residence on a chimney in a Norfolk market town.

The stork exploring the Smith family's field. Pictured are siblings Ruby, 11, Maisie, 9, Joseph and Samuel, 7. Picture: Andrew Smith The stork exploring the Smith family's field. Pictured are siblings Ruby, 11, Maisie, 9, Joseph and Samuel, 7. Picture: Andrew Smith

You could have knocked Lucy Palmer-Smith down with a feather when she woke up three days ago to find the bird in the field next door.

The mother of four who lives in Long Stratton has seen storks nesting in France where the family holiday - but never one in England.

And it was her sons’ school teacher Mrs Kirman at St Mary’s Junior School in the village that spotted the stork nesting on their chimney.

Since then the Year 3 class and their teacher have been doing a lot of stork research - and it’s suprising the amount they’ve found out.

Nosey stork. Picture: Andrew Smith Nosey stork. Picture: Andrew Smith

An excited seven-year-old Samuel Palmer-Smith told me: “At school we learned that storks build their nests on chimneys and roofs and near people on manmade platforms.

“They eat worms and other creatures. And the stork that sits on our roof at night goes to the field in the day to collect food.

“This morning it was looking for breakfast.

“We wouldn’t like the stork building on top of our chimney.

Nosey stork. Picture: Picture: Andrew Smith Nosey stork. Picture: Picture: Andrew Smith

“Our heat might not be able to get out and we would get very hot.

“We had birdwatchers here and me and my brothers and sisters were allowed to look through their binoculars and telescope.”

The field where the stork hangs out by day is next to a lane used by dog walkers and runners.

Mrs Palmer-Smith says there’s been a lot of local interest - people have been keen to get a glimpse and take a photo.

Birdwatchers told the Long Stratton mum that the stork’s unusual markings show it’s probably from Spain.

They believe it was on its way to North Africa, but followed a hot thermal and ended up in Norfolk.

Mrs Palmer-Smith said: “ It’s made a lovely mess on our roof pooping.

“It sits on the roof all night and goes to the field in the day looking for food.”

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