Wednesday 19 October 2011

Mote Park Cormorant. Oct 2011

It was such a beautiful autumn morning that I couldn't resist a quick turn around the park. The sun was up, the air was crisp and still. The season has caught up with the trees and the temperature has taken a big dip after the heat wave of a fortnight ago.

A couple of people approached me to ask about the "big black bird" that could be seen at the top of the dead tree on the island where the River Len flows into Mote Lake.

So if you are in Mote Park and you see a large, glossy, black bird at the top of a dead tree, chances are it is a Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo.
They feed on fish and may be seen swimming on the water and diving beneath to hunt. They often perch with their wings outspread. a couple of theories about this behaviour suggest that they are either drying their feathers or that they are warming up their bellies in the sun to aid digestion.

For a great composite picture by jel1969 of a Cormorant coming in to land on a branch (it may be the same cormorant in the same tree), follow this link.

 Tufted Duck

  Species seen; 28

Great Cormorant 1, Grey Heron 2, Mute Swan 3, Mallard 25, Tufted Duck 1, Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1, Common Moorhen 4, Common Coot 6, Black-headed Gull 65, Common Woodpigeon 35, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1, Grey Wagtail 2, Northern Wren 4, Redwing 8, Common Blackbird 5, European Robin 3, Blackcap 1, Goldcrest 1, Long-tailed Tit 15, Great Tit 6, Blue Tit 8, Wood Nuthatch 2, Treecreeper 1, Eurasian Jay 5, Eurasian Magpie 3, Carrion Crow 35, Chaffinch 2, European Greenfinch 1.

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