Thursday, 28 August 2008

Cormorants all in a row

No swans at the Swan Bay jetty this afternoon but plenty of little pied cormorants. At one point, there must have been a hundred or more of them lined up along the railing but then someone walked past and they all took off.

The someone was an elderly woman on her afternoon constitutional. She stopped to ask 'Have you ever seen so many shags in one place?'

I had to think about that.

They settled on an abandoned trailer and boats moored in the shallow waters. The little pieds shared the boats with the more retiring little black cormorants. I wouldn't want the job of cleaning off the guano. Could this be the origin of the term 'poop deck'?

Less numerous than the cormorants but nonetheless holding their own were silver gulls, Caspian terns and crested terns.

Caspian tern

Crested tern

White-fronted chats foraged in the saltmarsh, invariably just that little bit too far away for a good photo. The orange-bellied parrots, if they were around, were keeping a low profile.

Where the orange-bellied parrots weren't

So this is another place to add to my list of spots to visit again soon. At this rate, I'll never get to new locations but will be doing an endless round of the old ones. A bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge ...

View Larger Map
Swan Bay jetty on Google Maps


mick said...

I see lots of cormorants up this way - BUT - never that many! Great photos and description.

Lynette Weir said...

Hi Snail - great photos - love the 'shags on the jetty' - especially like that the comorants are so graphically black and white...maybe I should do a series of designs of black and white amongst my currently running 20 projects.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
Great posting with all those Cormorants. The ocean waters there must be rich and healthy. Long may they remain so.

Snail said...

Lyn, a series of b&w birds would be great! I'm also transfixed by the overlapping feathers on the wings. The sheen creates a subtle pattern. (Just don't get me started on darters ...)

Denis, Swan Bay is chockers with good stuff. What I was taken with (but didn't photograph) were the anglers at the end of the jetty, who were following much the same pursuit as the cormorants. (Except with less guano.)

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Snail,

I love your first photo - make it about 1.5 m wide, and frame it up, it will look very nice on a living room wall. And it says good taste too.

The fifth photo - cormorants on the abandoned trailer - looks like a postcard. When I first looked at it, I thought "That can't be real - maybe he put the trailer there and lured the birds there with food."


Snail said...


And the other good thing about a big poster is that it comes without the cormoranty pong!

I went back on Friday (to see whether I could add any other species to my frankly not very impressive bird list) and there were even more cormorants on the jetty. Amazing!