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Thread: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

  1. #1

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    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Dull day at the bird hide; both in terms of little action and very overcast dark sky. So with a 7D and Sigma 150-600 Sport lens I was having to increase the Iso to 1250 with only F8 to give an acceptable shutter speed. So not a perfect image but I think this nicely demonstrates the behaviour.

    Then a Little Egret appeared moving quite quickly through the shallows with a cormorant swimming just outside in slightly deeper water; but it was only just deep enough for it to swim along. The cormorant kept exactly alongside the egret as they moved along this stretch of shoreline.

    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    I don't know if this is a case of cooperation or competition. The cormorant might benefit from any small fish which dart outwards into deeper water while any which go into the shallows would be caught by the egret. They came back later on and did exactly the same thing again. At one time there were two cormorants.

    I have seen this happening once before at a different location.

    And a different situation from this site. You do all you can to appear desirable and sexy.

    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Then you develop an irresistible itch . . .

    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    . . . and you know that magic moment has been lost.

    Anybody been in similar situations.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Nice captures, never been in similar situations but witnessed quite a few squabbles.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    I don't know if they a formal arrangement, Geoff, but I do see this kind of behaviour often with cormorants and other birds, particularly gulls. The cormorants swim together as a flock, driving fish into very shallow water or onto the shore, and the gulls wait on-shore to feed on what the cormorants leave behind.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Nice set Geoff. That Sigma 150-600 is producing some nice results as well.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    As it happens, and you may have seen it Geoff, that behaviour was featured on Winterwatch this evening (2000-2100 BBC1, so available on iPlayer for UK residents).

    The Cormorants round here tend to fish in the deeper parts (of the Thames) from where say, Herons do (or Egrets might) fish.
    I don't think we get Egrets this far in land, but then I've not been out much lately.

    Good shot of the pair.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Interesting observation. Here I have not seen such behaviour as most of our ponds have resident great blue herons and they do not like the egrets to hang around.

    I will certainly keep a watch out from now on. Thanks for the info.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Very interesting photo and commentary. I'll look forward to hearing if you see similar behaviour again at this location.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Birds around here do tend to cooperate quite often:
    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    They also know a soft touch when they see one.
    Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Dicky.

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Both batches here have some funny shots...With John, it was the gulls...that was cute -- along with the commentaries to them...I thought you were asking about the flirting session going on there for a while that was distracted by the itch of the other one...just goes to show my dirty little mind working again.

    On the other hand, in Dicky's shot, I still think that the guy's leg is inside that bucket...wonder why???

  10. #10

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    Re: Cormorant & Egret - Interesting Behaviour

    Thanks for the comments. That lens is certainly proving useful and I'm surprised by how well it copes with difficult lighting situations; although most of my flying bird photos in shade were rather noisy at Iso 1250.

    I suppose, Izzie, if you have forgotten to bring your wellies a bucket makes an acceptable alternative.

    When I was fishing for a living there was a Heron who would come to me on the fish quay to beg for a fish. Or fly alongside my dinghy and pick up a small fish which I threw into the water.

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