Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cor, cormorants and blurry bittern

Interesting bits later, the one decent picture first. Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarba melanoleucos) in solo pose near a Tyto lagoon. Little Pieds stand alone, in contrast to Little Black Cormorants (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris). Any fish the solitary hunter Pied takes brings no threat of theft from a fishing companion.

But Little Blacks hunt in packs. The advantage appears to be a 'herding' of fish ahead of the swift swimming pack. The disadvantage is an instant challenge against any bird that takes a fish too large to be immediately swallowed. Side note: 50-60 Little Blacks in Tyto overnight the only large group of the species to spend much time in the wetlands in six years or more.

Worst for last. Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) disappears across scleria in Tyto today. Male, but you'll have to take my word for it. My only flight picture in six years. Saw male and female yesterday, without even bad picture. Tomorrow ...


mick said...

Great photos of the Little Black Cormorants. I knew they did things as a flock but haven't yet seen them fighting over fish. Must look more closely next time.

Mosura said...

I'd be happy just to see a Little Bittern let alone get any kind of photo of one.

Great shot of the Little Pied'


Tyto Tony said...

Hi Mick: Theft breaks out only when large fish, which can't be gobbled down quickly, are taken.

Hi Alan: Another bird that might just get blown down your way by a night northerly.

Denis Wilson said...

Any northerly that would blow your Bittern to Tassie would make for a Bitter(n) Wind Storm, Tony.
Nice photo essay about cormorant hunting.

Tyto Tony said...

H Denis: Unlikely, I know. But maybe a few more strangers cross from southern Victoria than we imagine. Besides, we've a duty to cheer up Taswegians whenever possible. They've got enough misery, man(Gunns)made and natural, as it is. And that's before the arrest of sainted gardening gurus!!!

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