Friday, January 2, 2009

The cormorants came back

Happy New Year to humans and birds alike.

In my previous post (Dec 30), I said I would return to the beach the following morning with my camera, because I thought I had seen a pair of cormorants diving for fish beyond the breakers that day. And I hadn't taken my camera with me. I did return early the next morning, camera hanging over my shoulder, and there they were; the cormorants had come again.

I feel a kinship with these birds now, as well as the grebes.

Something had caught my eye through the viewfinder after I had found the pair of cormorants again. I snapped a photo of what I thought was a pelican landing, judging by the large wingspan. But when I looked out in the water, there were now three cormorants. I knew the third had just joined the other two. According to the book, "Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast," cormorants fly with rapid wing beats and neck extended. And when they hit the water, they skid to a halt. I think I captured this skidding-to-a-halt thing here.

I tried to determine what kind of cormorants these were, as I knew they were the same as my cormorant I had lost.

However, I am limited by my point-and-shoot Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd camera. Eventually, I'd like to upgrade to the Finepix S100fs, for those sharper images and optical zoom. I'd like to upgrade myself to advanced amateur photographer, too. The photo below is the closest in distance I could get with my current zoom. By this photo, I determined that all the cormorants I had seen were Brandt's Cormorants, and not the Double-crested or Pelagic cormorants.

The Brandt's Cormorants are the most common cormorant in the Southern California Bight. (See more cormorant photos in my December posts.)

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