Saturday 6 February 2016

The Cormorants in the Wind

Yesterday I went on a wild, windy 13.5 km run that took me out to Farndon, and a very squelchy Willow Holt, and then back in along my usual route along the river, which was surprisingly dry and easily passable in my trail shoes.

I'd brought my bridge camera in the boy scout "be prepared" sense; I had no idea or intention when I set out other than to run a long way, and I changed my mind about the route after abut 5km - Pykett's Wood between Cotham and Hawton just didn't seem appealing on a gloomy day.

So, I was hoping the river run would throw up something worth shooting.

There were certainly sights to see; a large flock of canada geese and pigeons in the arable field on the far side of the river just beyond the ferry were scared into the air by something - perhaps a fox - and the geese formed several v-formations and honked about at low altitude in their panic. Then I saw a small bird sweep low across the river, skimming the water into the marina entrance, and I asked myself briefly if it was a very early sand martin, before deciding it was more likely to be a reed bunting.

But still I wondered.

Luckily, when I reached the power station section of the river, the paparazzi deities smiled upon me from behind the clouds and gave me a selection of cormorants to shoot, sat awkwardly on river furniture, drying their wings in the fierce wind, and frankly looking like they'd voided their bowels over everything, including their own heads. Sometimes you get herons along that stretch of river, this day, it was cormorants, the prehistoric pteranadons of our rivers, tormenting the fishermen far out of the range of their anger.

Too bad the wind made taking pictures very very tricky.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.02.16

Mess maker!

And a friend

Note white head and wing patch on bird on right

Canoes? We don't need no stinking canoes!

From the other side

Solitary watchtower


  1. Lucky you Si. Now thatis a bird we don't see around here.

  2. They're handsome birds. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. Cormorants are also the main complaint of the local fishermen along the river Hull (as well as the increasing number of seals coming up the river), but I like to see them. However not many about at the moment but they usually start to increase from March onwards. As you say there is something almost prehistoric looking about them.

  4. Bestthorpe reserve about 10 miles away has hundreds of them, on special cormorant stands! They stand their drying their wings like gothic laundry

    1. "Gothic laundry" - a wonderfully apt description.

  5. They seem to be on the increase around here and turn up frequently in places where they were previously never seen. I often wonder why birds don't get blown off their perches in high winds.

  6. They were clinging on like mad with their webbed feet! And they'd lean into the wind, keep their necks in, occasionally using their wings for balance, it looked like.

  7. They look great against the orange, I do like to see them about and along this coastline we see them regularly.