jueves, 10 de enero de 2019

Great Cormorant

 Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

There haven't been very many sightings of Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) on La Palma. I recall about 4 altogether, but don't have a more precise figure. Off the top of my head, there was one several years ago at the Fajana de Barlovento, then another along the section of coastline between the airport and Santa Cruz de La Palma, a few years later. The most recent I can remember was also seen off the east coast of the island, just north of Santa Cruz, by two visiting British birders, Simon Priestnall and Anthony Cooper, in April 2017.

 Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Of course, there may have been other records, but this one is the first for me personally on La Palma. And it was found on the west side of the island, rather than the east, in a freshwater environment, rather than a marine one. There were shoals of small carp in the pond, which the bird presumably feeds on.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

The photographs were taken at the irrigation pond in Tazacorte where the discovery was made this afteroon, 10/01. I was actually scouting the area as part of the preparations for the annual census of wintering waterbirds, which will be held all over Spain this weekend.

My reconnaissance took me to an area I don't usually bother to inspect, as it tends to be unproductive...and there to my surprise was the cormorant, standing on the edge of one of these ignored ponds.

I only had my bridge camera with me at the time, so the photos are not very good quality. Hopefully, I'll be able to improve on them over the next few days.

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