Rare birds turn up at Legg Lake

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 out with the blue herons and double-crested cormorants that call the area home.

Both birds have strayed far beyond their normal ranges, birders say. Judging from the pattern of pinkish warts on its head, the wood stork, which has a long curved beak and stands about 3 feet tall, could be the same bird seen earlier this month in Orange County.

Raul Roa, a photographer with the Glendale News Press, said he managed to get as close at 20 feet from the wood stork as it strutted sedately along the shoreline on its long spindly legs, feeding on small bass and crayfish.

“It’s easy to spot,” Roa said. “It’s so ugly it’s beautiful.”