We are approaching little town called Nariin Teel, where we marked two storks ten days ago. Lubos, who has been in charge of the transmitters and signal watching since the beginning of our stork projects, is in action. He is preparing one antenna at the roof of the car and the second directional one for the case we caught a signal to get more precise direction and distance. We are going to verify that the marked storks are OK at their places in the nests surroundings.
"I have a signal," Lubos says with satisfaction after a while. His ears are well trained to catch the weakest beeps in noises and scratches made by the receiver. We have moved away for several hundreds meters now and we are able to hear regular beeps of the transmitter that this year's first backpacked stork is wearing on. "The signal is coming out from the direction from the nest, maybe it fed the chicks," Lubos is thinking after several turnings with the directional antenna. Then he instructs the driver Inkhe to drive on to the village and across the river up the opposite hill. Just after we stopped, Inkhe calls our attention to just-arriving bird high in the sky. We are jumping out of the car and points our binoculars. The bird is flying lower in the meantime, the signal is getting stronger, and we can even see an antenna in a strong binoculars. Yes, it's a male stork that we trapped ten days ago at the nest over the road, and he comes flying right from this direction. We are observing the trajectory of his flight, he is heading for the little town but then he's turning away and landing in the river-basin where to collect another batch food for his chicks. We are running out to the nest and three young storks in the nest are quietly watching our swarming on the road below them. They've grown up a little, they wear much more black feathers, only the youngest one still wears a white topknot of powder down.
|"Our" second Mongolian stork has just ascended off the river and disappeared in the direction of the nest.|
"Well and now we will check the second stork as well, it could be collecting food as well," Lubos ponders stimulates by the success with the first one. We will be glad if we can hear the signal of his transmitter at all, I am pondering in my mind. The frequency is retuned and we are approaching the White rock valley, the home of the second stork. I think we are distant enough, but after a terrain wave, we can hear a distinct signal. "Zogs nu - stop!" that's what we know in Mongolian. A zigzag surface of a river is glassing on the right side below us, little batches of horses and sheep are grassing. "There is a stork in the second double," Kamil reports, "and wears a transmitter!" Lubos is nodding his head and chuckling as he guessed it exactly again. We are watching the stork hunting - he is walking in the water-stream and slashes his long pecker thoroughly and sometimes disappears behind the high bank. He went another hundred meters and then he jumped on the bank. After a while of relaxation it flies away, the cine-camera is gnarling, the cameras are clicking as it circled right above us. Then it ascended high and disappeared n the direction of the nest. We are six kilometres from the nest according to GPS. We turn around our car and happy that our storks behave normally and take care of their chicks. And now up we run for Tuya to the Khustai National Park.