Friday, 20 January 2012

Cormorant and the unexpected.


The Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a regular inhabitant on my local patch but is very wary and more often than not flies off when I get within range of the 70-300 lens. Fortunately on this occasion it had its back to me and was intent on watching elsewhere!

While I was trying to focus directly on the Cormorant I was totally unaware that it had his eyes firmly focused on a male Sparrowhawk (top left) that dashed across both our views!! The Cormorant was totally unfazed and just followed the fly past by twisting its head. I had to put the camera down and use the bins to search out the hawks location ..... only just focusing in on it as it decided to continue its journey further away. I have previously mentioned that birding (just using your eyes or with bins) verses bird photography quite often creates conflicting issues for me and this particular incident clearly illustrates that scenario. If I hadn't been squinting through the lens I would have seen the action unfold much more clearly.

I know that this species is not everyones favourite, certainly not fishermen or owners of fish farms, as they have a habit of killing more fish than they can actually consume but for me it provided a challenge on a drab day to try to capture the oily sheen when it spread its wings to soak up what little warmth the winter sun had to provide.
Have an enjoyable wildlife watching weekend, wherever you are ..... FAB.

26 comments:

  1. Great suprise Frank,nice bonus two for one.
    John.

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  2. I find them breathless, they are definitely beautiful. There is no means to shoot or harm them. Great photos.

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  3. yes Frank I know what you're saying about being glued to the lens. Sometimes just the moment you take a glimpse with the naked eye when doing those long-shoots, to be sure you're on target - THAT's when you can miss a good shot too. It can be the very moment you've been waiting for a take-off and you'd been holding the shutter half-way for ages before that.

    I love the cormorant photos, the wings almost looking like a mosaic-pattern. A close-crop of the wing could be extra nice too if the focus was good enough for it.

    Thanks for sharing.....

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  4. ...cool shot, Frank! Love how the cormorant has has his eyes trained on the hawk. I always love seeing cormorants...

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  5. I think Cormorants are fascinating to watch, as they fish. Pretty successful too lol

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  6. The Japanese had a very good use for the Cormorant. They tied a rope around it's neck, let it out to catch fish, then brought it back and removed the fish from its mouth. We have a statue of the Cormorant Fisherman in Eden Park, Cincinnati, from our sister city in Japan.

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  7. Love that header image Frank. That heron is definitely on the lookout. Love the comorant image. They are really big birds. Carol

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  8. Glorious images of the Comorant with outstretched wings! I've had the same issue of missing interesting birds and behavior while taking photographs. I'd say you succeeded in achieving your goal. That last shot is stunning!

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  9. Hi Frank, it's lovely to be back :-) and to see you back after your break too. I hope you and Anita are well and I do hope things are still going well for your father, what an indomitable gentleman he is! You must be very proud of him.

    Wow! What a beautiful header photo! I do like Herons, they are such patient creatures.

    Lovely captures of the Cormorant another patient soul and I love to see them with their wings out like that.

    Well done with the stunning drake Smew on the previous post too and the very (to me) elusive Kingfisher.

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  10. Great shot with the Sparrowhawk Frank, and I think Cormorants are great birds.

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  11. love that last photo! i think these birds are fascinating. only get to see them occasionally here!

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  12. Oh, aren't surprises caught in your photos rather fun? Nice shots, Frank. Have a great weekend.

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  13. I tend to like birds that other people aren't terribly fond of or overlook, like starlings, crows and sparrows, but even if you don't like Cormorants you have to love the iridescence in those wings :D.

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  14. Grand opportunity, barely missed, but the images you got are still wonderful Frank.
    I was walking the other day, carrying my camera as I always do.
    My husby walks faster than me and once we caught up with one another, he said, how many did you get?
    What do you mean, how many did I get?
    You did see the small herd of deer in front of you...right?
    No, I never saw any deer...why did you not yell at me...because they would have run away...
    They evidently ran anyway, and I never saw, or heard a thing~

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  15. Frank, you captured it well. It is amazing to me how its tail and the bronze tones to its feathers reminds me of wild turkeys!

    I also feel that conflict of deciding whether to look through bins or camera or just see with my own eyes!

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  16. you couldnt do that agian if you tried

    Smashing shot with the Sparrowhawk gliding into view

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  17. Wow very nice pictures Frank and beautiful light, I love the last one!

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  18. A fantastic series of shots, which ends showing the delicate plumage on this birds wings.
    Regards Brian

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  19. I wihs that binoculars with built in cameras could be perfected. That would come in handy.I see cormorants as prehistoric which makes them interesting to look at. They are unique birds.

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  20. Cool sighting and capture! Wonderful photos.

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  21. Terrific shots, Frank! I love the color in the wings.

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  22. A good read and great photo's. Thank you.

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  23. It gets so frustrating sometimes..."Should I shoot this bird ...or that one?"...

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  24. Great shots, I love seeing the cormorants sunning...here in Florida we also have the anhinga, which looks similar. There's something about seeing them w/ their wing span on display that is impressive every time, doesn't get old.

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  25. Great series Frank. Cormorants are so cool. I love their beautiful eyes. Your last photo of the spread wings is fantastic!

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