Posts Tagged ‘Great Cormorant’

Keith and I finished the day at St James Park, hoping to possibly see Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail. The park is also home to a collection of exotic wildfowl from around the world. This dates back to when the park was actually the gardens of the Royal Palace at Whitehall. Further details about the history of this collection can be found at https://petesfavouritethings.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-royal-pelicans/

The Pelicans seem pinker than I have seen them before.
Cormorants roosting in tree
Grey Heron

As well as seeing the collection birds, we also recorded a number of wild species, but no kingfisher or Grey Wagtail.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

Great Cormorant

Posted: November 1, 2017 in Birds, Natural History
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The Great Cormorant is a large waterbird, whose black plumage and use of perching posts make it one of the most easily recognised species in the UK. It is often seen with its wings outstretched to dry. They are excellent fishers and this had led to persecution in the past. They are colony nesters in trees and the colonies are easily recognisable.

The Uk holds an important breeding (c9000 pairs) and wintering population (c40000 birds)

SS Waverley approaching Gravesend

SS Waverley approaching Gravesend

Friday the 7th saw Keith and I boarding the SS Waverley for a trip along the Thames from Gravesend to Tower Bridge. Whilst nature watching was not the prime reason for taking the trip we were hopeful that we might see some good wildlife along the river banks.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

The Thames marshes although annually decreasing in size and ever under threat from development are one of the prime natural habitats of the region and this was an opportunity to see them from a different viewpoint.

Swanscombe Marshes

Swanscombe Marshes

From Gravesend we travelled upstream past Swanscombe Marshes, currently the site of  a proposal to build a theme park, towards Dartford. Passing under the bridge we passed Rainham Marshes (an RSPB nature reserve) on the north bank and Crayford and Erith Marshes on the south. Beyond these we came to Thamesmead, once marshes but now a housing development.

Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve

Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve

Although we did not see a huge number of species and sadly no migrating birds of prey, skuas or terns as we had hoped, there were plenty of duck including a party of Eurasian Wigeon and a single Pintail plus good numbers of Northern Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit on the mudflats. We also found some common seals lounging on the mud-flats at Crayford Ness.

Common Seals

Common Seals

Ducks feeding on the waterline

Ducks feeding on the waterline

Greta Cormorant

Great Cormorant

Northern Lapwings

Northern Lapwings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)

 

 

The morning started well with a pair of Song Thrushes in the garden. Thrush species other than Blackbird are winter visitors to the garden but with the mild weather we have had this winter they have been absent until now.

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After a morning meeting I dropped into East India Dock Nature reserve. The nature reserve is the original entrance basin from the Thames into the East India dock complex (now all redeveloped as housing). There were good numbers of Eurasian Teal, Shelduck, Great Cormorant and Tufted Duck which are all common here. Still a pleasant place to spend an hour at lunchtime.

Coot

Coot

Eurasian Teal

Eurasian Teal

Shelduck

Shelduck

Cormorants

Cormorants

These little nature reserves provide an oasis of peace, beauty and tranquillity in the midst of the bustle of city life.

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)

Danson Park Lake

Danson Park Lake

A free morning and although it was damp, misty and cold I decided to go off to Danson Park in Welling to see if there were any winter Thrushes present. Danson Park much like my own local patch is the remnants of an old country house. Unlike my patch it has remained intact as a public park consisting of woodland and grassland surrounding a large lake.

Danson House from the lakeside

Danson House from the lakeside

My route was to follow the lake edge starting on the southern side. Very soon I had good views of both Little and Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

At the western end a cormorant was drying its wings in classical pose and a Grey Heron was standing sentinel like on the bank.

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

In the western woodland a Magpie posed on the fence post

Magpie

Magpie

Coming back along the northern edge of the lake there was a large flock of Canada Geese with a few Egyptian Geese.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

And what about those thrushes. I had almost reached my starting point again when I spotted two feeding thrushes on the ground. I moved closer and identified them as a Redwing and a Mistle Thrush. I moved closer to get a picture and then a dog rushed out of the trees and they were gone. Ah well that’s what happens in public parks. Maybe next time.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Great Cormorant

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Birds, Natural History
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The Cormorant is one of our commonest waterbirds in the UK and can be seen pretty much everywhere across the country. Its primitive, almost reptilian appearance has led many people to regard it as as a rather sinister bird. They are supreme fishers and this has often led them into conflict with anglers and fish producers and they have been persecuted in the past. They nest in colonies in trees and the estimated British breeding population is a round 9000 pairs. During the winter it is estimated that the population is around 40000 birds.

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