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Rebotco

Cormorants

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For the first time ever, I saw 2 cormorants on the K & A near Bradford on Avon last week.  I suppose that must mean the water is cleaner than before, as they are fish eaters.  Bet the anglers are not so keen on them being there though!  Anyone else seen cormorants on canals in other parts of the network?

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Yes, on the Middle Level, Wicken Fen I think, although it's a few years ago. I remember that they would perch in trees and hang out their wings to dry - I wonder why they need to do so, as I haven't noticed any other birds doing likewise.

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5 minutes ago, Athy said:

Yes, on the Middle Level, Wicken Fen I think, although it's a few years ago. I remember that they would perch in trees and hang out their wings to dry - I wonder why they need to do so, as I haven't noticed any other birds doing likewise.

I dont think they are drying their wings. When perched they often spread their wings out - I would guess they are getting heat in from the sun. You get them on many large lakes around the country so they will appear on the canals. One flew past us last week on the GU between Braunston and Napton but that's only a few miles from Draycote water where there is a significant population.

  • Greenie 1

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15 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Birmingham New Main Line

Indeed.  A small group arrived on the mainline in early summer 2016 and were a regular sight between Winson Green and Oldbury.  Then they disappeared over the winter but returned this year but I've seen them a lot less over summer 2017.  Not sure why though.

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4 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

Indeed.  A small group arrived on the mainline in early summer 2016 and were a regular sight between Winson Green and Oldbury.  Then they disappeared over the winter but returned this year but I've seen them a lot less over summer 2017.  Not sure why though.

On a wearhouse and the chimney of the Pumping station

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  • Greenie 1

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Just now, ditchcrawler said:

On a wearhouse and the chimney of the Pumping station

DSCF9031small.jpg

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DSCF9083small.jpg

They do like the high vantage points.  There some disused telegraph poles along there which they like to perch on too.

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They were regularly on the Selby canal when I had my boat on there between 2010 and 2015. I saw them last year on the Aire and Calder Navigation and a couple of weeks ago at the Tees Barrage.

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Seen them everywhere this year.  One swam in front of us up the T&M recently like Dolphins do (not on the T&M though).

It's wonderful that Herons and Kingfishers are becoming very common sights as well compared to a few years ago. Not so wonderful for the fish I suppose. 

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Getting everywhere then!

Strange creatures - they seem to carry much more ballast than other water-fowl, as their bodies are almost completely submerged when swimming.

Just the neck and head visible in the water - perhaps they are the origin of the Loch Ness monster!! :unsure:

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Seen them on the northern T&M several times, one diving ahead of the boat for about 15 minutes (presumably the reaction of the fish to the boat makes them easier to spot) and saw one last weekend by a winding hole on the Shroppie near Nantwich for the first time.   Very common on the Weaver Navigation.

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I believe that cormorants lack the water-repellent feathers that most other water fowl possess, which accounts for the "lower in the water" appearance, and the "spread wings" stance when the are drying out their feathers.

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lots on the weaver ...all last winter the kingfisher use to come and visit me most days if not every day  .at my moorings ..he use to let me open the side hatch .and let me admire him ..when i got back to my mooring mid september .i was so looking forward to seeing him again .and to build up is trust in me only to find crt or someone had cut the trees back ...and i have not seen him since ,shame .great photo bob 

  • Greenie 1

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we have quite a few around our  marina and on the rivers here in the Fens.

The reason they sit low in the water enables them to swim/fly under water more easily, Cormorants do not have waterproof feathers ( by design) and as has been said they do spread their wings to dry them out.

Coots do have waterproof feathers and to make it easier to dive the river bed they take on ballast in the form of pebbles which they swallow

Phil

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6 minutes ago, haza said:

lots on the weaver ...all last winter the kingfisher use to come and visit me most days if not every day  .at my moorings ..he use to let me open the side hatch .and let me admire him ..when i got back to my mooring mid september .i was so looking forward to seeing him again .and to build up is trust in me only to find crt or someone had cut the trees back ...and i have not seen him since ,shame .great photo bob 

You may know this but Kingfishers do not nest in trees but in burrows in the bank, often with the entrance underwater. We are lucky enough to have them nesting by our boat, little buggers sit on my tiller and crap ( but I love them all the same)

Phil 

Edited by Phil Ambrose

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not a lot of people now this .but i did .but thanks for that ..my kingfisher would flutter along about 2 ft above the water ,then he would perch himself opposite my side hatch even seen him dive in for small fish 

  • Happy 1

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7 hours ago, Rebotco said:

For the first time ever, I saw 2 cormorants on the K & A near Bradford on Avon last week.  I suppose that must mean the water is cleaner than before, as they are fish eaters.  Bet the anglers are not so keen on them being there though!  Anyone else seen cormorants on canals in other parts of the network?

I wouldn't like to name any particular canals but I feel from what I see they are reasonably common on the canals.

Outside the breeding season they are to be found in 82% of the UK tetrads (2k x 2k grid squares) and have increased by 27% over the last 40 years.

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