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South El Monte's Legg Lake: rare sighting of a wood stork

December 22, 2009 |  3:18 pm

Birders have been converging at South El Monte's Legg Lake for a rare sighting -- and possible photographs -- of a tundra swan and a wood stork that have been hanging with the blue herons and double-crested cormorants that call the area home.

Both birds have strayed far beyond their ranges. Judging from the patterns of small pinkish warts on its head, the wood stork, which has a long curved beak and stands about 3 feet tall, is apparently the same bird seen earlier this month in certain Orange County locations.

Raul Roa, a photographer with the Glendale News Press, said he managed to get as close as 200 feet from the wood stork as it strutted sedately on its spindly legs while feeding on small bass and crawfish.

"It's easy to spot," Roa said. "It's so ugly it's beautiful."

-- Louis Sahagun

Photo: Wood Stork wades in South El Monte's Legg Lake. Credit: Raul Roa / Glendale News Press