Monday, 21 April 2014

Magnificent Cormorants


Yes, you did read the title correctly. That boring dull bird you see everywhere and only check just to make sure you are not missing a Shag or a Glossy Ibis. Where does the magnificent come from? Well you have to see them in breeding plumage.


Cormorant

I had gone over to the sea cliffs at St Bees Head hoping to see Razorbills, Shag, Puffin, or even a Black Guillemot. It was all very disappointing. There were birds on show but they were Kittiwakes, Fulmar, and Common Guillemots. Nice to watch but not the birds that I was looking for. Then I came across a small group of Cormorants. They didn't look like the birds I see on the south coast and a quick check in Collins had me thinking about the subspecies sinensis. I am still not sure but sinensis is a bird of the east coast and it seems unlikely that I would find such a large group over on the west coast. I think this must just be breeding plumage.


Displaying

Already a couple?
 - do the different colour patches below the eye differentiate between male and female?


Cormorant

Most other birds were too far away for a decent picture but there were lots of Meadow Pipits on the cliff tops and a single Buzzard over the fields.


Meadow Pipit

Buzzard

And finally my first shot of a Red Squirrel in the wild. I have taken pictures of them at feeding stations before  but this is the first time I have managed to get a picture as one runs past in the woods. I had time for just a single shot and it was gone and I was amazed to find that I had it in focus.

Red Squirrel





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