We spotted this bird on the stretch of the New River behind Wightman. Mallards and moorhens are common there. Canada geese and swans are not unusual. I see mandarin ducks from time to time and occasionally a heron standing on top of the ventilation tower behind the garage. But this is the first time I've seen a cormorant (though not the first time one's been seen here, I'm sure).
When first spotted, he/she was fishing. They do this by swimming along under water. This may not be obvious from the video, but it is what is shown in the first segment. He'd disappear under water and pop up about 20 feet further along.
After catching something, he/she swam along the river. I stopped filming after a while and, of course, right then the bird made a magnificent water take off, sweeping low across the river as he/she did so!
Excuse the poor quality phonemanship. I wasn't wearing my glasses and pretty much had to guess where the bird was in the picture. It was also moving along quite quickly. The combination of motion and keeping a barely visible target in picture was clearly beyond me!
In breeding plumage, as denoted by the white throat and thigh patch.
Turned up the volume and got very excited by the Cuckoo and the Nightingale in the background, before I realised a soundtrack had been added to complement the footage :-)
Not to complement but to replace a soundtrack of crunching feet and chitter chatter. Without any sound seemed rather dull.
There have been several cormorants on the lake in Finsbury Park for a few years now.
My son and I spotted him one the stretch under Warham Road, and I doubted my bird-identification skills as I didn't think we'd get cormorants round here! Good to know I recognised correctly (my city kids seem amazed I know the names of any plants and animals!). Thanks for this, we'll keep looking out for him when we go to spot the coot babies.
The discovery that baby coots are called cooties made my day!