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About Cormorants

Coming across some nice cormorant photographs in two blogs I decided to stay with the theme and add one myself. This cormorant sat on a float outside our house. These birds are common enough but you mostly see them from a bit of a distance either roosting or on top of a piling or in the water, but very seldom on ground like this one. Fighting with low light and still being not all that close, trying not to be noticed, haha, I got two images. A third image trying to catch him flying away, shows only grey. C’est ma vie ;-/

For many years cormorants occupied, as a colony, the fir trees on a small island behind our house. Their talk among each other consists of raucous calls and at night deep rumblings like one might hear from sea lions. That is to say, the first year I heard them on the island, that is what I thought they were, sea lions. This colony began roosting there 1998 or 1999 and a few years ago they stopped using this spot just as suddenly. It makes one wonder whether something happened to this colony of cormorants.
They are a bit of an environmental disaster in their immediate environment. There were no dead trees on the island before the cormorants took it as their gathering area. The dead trees that show in the photos were part of their main nightly roosting spots.
The next image was made with an early 2mp phone camera, daylight mostly gone, and edited at the time out of sheer necessity. It shows how they congregate at night. They used between half a dozen and a dozen trees on the small island. Cormorants are out doing things all day apart from each other, but before sunset they gather at their roosting spot and all arrive within half an hour from each other. Before settling down they always circle around the area a few times. At that time their droppings are frighteningly phenomenal. These droppings take the finish of your car and you, being outside, stand a good chance of being hit by one of those humongous acidic bombs. In the morning it is the same story. Shortly after sunrise they take off for the day, mostly they are all gone within half an hour of each other.

About Joseph de Lange

Before retirement worked in art galleries, a photo studio, offices, and the trades. Don't travel much anymore but still photograph. For the past 5 years 95% of my photography is done with the phone. My prediction for big cameras: DSLRs and their beautiful lenses and even the smaller mirrorless cameras will be mostly a historical footnote in the not too distant future.

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