Nesting Shags

Discussion in 'Birds' started by alanhill, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Several pairs of shags nest close to the visitor's area on Staple Island in the Farnes. One nest had been abandoned last Saturday morning, so the other birds were recycling the nest material.

    FarneIs004a102a.

    FarneIs004a104.

    This male was particularly industrious, waddling past us with his big feet slapping on the rocks and then rushing back to present each stick to his mate. She saluted by raising it in the air before working it into the nest (actually my bird guide says that both birds build the nest and icubate - so I may have described this the wrong way round). The birds are so tame on these islands that my 18-70 mm kit lens was ideal for these shots.
    The next nest was a little further away, I needed my 300mm for shots of a small chick and a proud parent.

    FarneIs004a052.

    Feeding time
    FarneIs004a056.

    On Inner Farne some shags nest even closer to the visitors. They seem happy to show off their babies.

    FarneIs004a344.

    I still have hundreds of shots to process from this trip: I hope to post the puffins next.

    Alan
     
  2. Very nice shots, #4 is a winner for sure. I've never seen this bird before, appears similar to our Commorant.

    Louie
     
  3. It is the same as the Commorant, just called a Shag. They call these birds Shags in the Southern Oceans also.:smile:

    Nancy
     
  4. Glacier

    Glacier

    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    Wonderful series Alan! That looks like a very big pile of rope in #'s 3 and 4. Do you think those birds put that there?
     
  5. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Great images
    Thank you
     
  6. Thank you for your comments.
    We have two cormorant species in the UK and the eastern Atlantic: the shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) is smaller and more numerous, it prefers rocky coasts. The cormorant or great cormorant (P.carbo) is more conspicuous as it is larger and often seen in estuaries and freshwater habitats. I believe it is one of the species found in America, along with others resembling the shag.
    Nesting material seems to be in short supply: there are no trees on the Farne Islands, so nests are made of driftwood, seaweed, plants like campion which grow on the cliffs and anything else the birds can find - I'm sure they put that rope there (it may be old fishing gear or it may have been used to mark the visitor's boundary last year). I'm also sure that anyone trying to remove it would be severely pecked!

    Alan
     
  7. Outstanding Photos Allen
     
  8. Pretty tough color to get right so I think you did pretty good. I also have never seen this bird before.
    Lou
     
  9. Excellent, Allen, just excellent!
     
  10. Thank you all.
    You're right about the colour, Lou: I was worried whether I could capture the bird's bronze/green sheen in such dull conditions, but I think it's OK. I increased the saturation a tiny bit in the first two shots here, and I think they have the most accurate colour reproduction.

    Alan
     
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