Stunning white storks ready to deliver after building a nest in a Norfolk chimney

The White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) nesting in a chimney at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens in Filby, P

The White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) nesting in a chimney at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens in Filby, Photo by Joe Blossom. - Credit: Archant

Excitement is mounting at a Norfolk wildlife haven where white storks are nesting on an 18th century chimney.

The white storks, part of the collection at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens in Filby, near Great Yarmouth, could be the first pair to successfully breed in the UK for hundreds of years.

The white stork breeds mainly in continental Europe, migrating to Africa in winter. The distinctive birds nest close to human habitation, often creating their nests on chimneys, rooftops or telegraph poles, but this is only the third time in 600 years they have been recorded nesting in this traditional way in the UK.

Ken Sims, director of Thrigby Hall, said: 'We gave the storks a helping hand by building a structure for their nest on the hall's front chimney, but they turned their back on our handiwork and have built their own nest on one of the rear stacks.

'They have definitely mated and are very busy, so we'll be keeping a close eye over the next month or so to see if they begin feeding activities, which will mean that chicks have arrived.'

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Records show that in 1416, a pair of white storks nested on Edinburgh's St Giles Cathedral.

More recently, in 2004, a pair attempted to nest on a pylon in West Yorkshire.

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