It is not uncommon to see a stork if you are in the right part
of the world and during the proper season.
On September afternoon, a few years ago, I was trying catch some thermals
with my 20 year old RES. There were no clouds in the sky and practically no wind. Getting off the high start, quick run toward
the neighboring roof tops tilted to the western sun and hung on the bubbles, and slope effect from the line of the
single family houses . The same pattern being repeated over and over again for few minutes long flights.
On the following flight a curious stork couple got off the grassy
wetland and approached my bubbly heaven way below the glider. As soon they got into the rising air, their wings got
stiff with a tighter and wider circling involved getting best air possible. In 5-6 spirals they reached the glider's height.
The 3M glider looked tiny and hardly visible compared to contrasting (black and white) similar size
stork wings. They flew much faster than the model with occasional stall turns to gain big chunks
of altitude. Their circling was very tight, but with much less of the bank than the model had to. They used some
kind of spoiler effect instead of aileron rolling control for less than proper bank. It looked like they spun around
the inner wing tip, anchored by some invisible short line. The model violently kept rising with storks
for about 20-30 seconds. It definitely had a lower wing loading than the birds had, but lacked precision in
picking up the best turning spots to compete. In few minutes the RES was far enough downwind to go back home, knowing what
kind of sink is coming after the strong lift.
The storks shifted the circling to another area and widened the space greatly.
They were flying away, drifted by the wind and staying almost at the same angle toward the horizon, but you can easily
say they flew higher and higher. After about 20 minutes they were approximately above highest point on the
horizon the Wawel castle complex in Krakow, about 2.4 km from the place where everything began.