Today’s uplifting moment … catching a glimpse of a duck and a cormorant flying together, low and fast like two jet fighters, heading east along the River Bollin.
Cormorants have been overwintering on the meres and rivers in Cheshire for about fifty years, and actually started establishing breeding colonies in the early eighties. Our nearest is by the heronry on Trentabank Reservoir in Macclesfield Forest. It is thought the combination of over-fishing by man on the coasts and the highly stocked waters created by Angling Societies inland have helped to cause the change in their habits. As well as an influx of a European species of cormorant more used to nesting in trees rather than cliffs, which has helped encourage our coastal birds to move onto freshwater, away from the sea.
They can take larger fish than herons and can dive pretty deep to reach them and are seen as a pest by anglers who are allowed to apply for licenses to shoot them 😦 Maybe they should take a leaf out of the Japanese and Chinese fisherman’s books – they use them to fish for them! I think they are wonderfully pterodactyl to look at, especially when they stand upright hanging their wings out to dry.
Fantastic Cormorant photo from here