Monday, 2nd February 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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comorants at Anglers Lake

cormorantCormorants sitting on rocks: it's a welcome touch of wilderness on a rainy Monday morning, even if these cormorants are as far from a wild coast as they can be in Yorkshire. They're sitting on sandstone boulders that have been stacked to make small islands on the shore of a lake that, at the time of its construction, was the largest in Britain to be lined with a butyl sheeting: Anglers Lake, three miles south-east of Wakefield, was constructed on the site of an opencast coal mine.

cormorants cormorants cormorant

For me cormorants have a rather prehistoric look. They sit on their rocks like heraldic beasts, spreading their wings to dry, preening or just staring into space.

coot fightingA passing coot makes a noise like the hooter of a toy car. When a cormorant flies in there's a grunting and whinnying of welcome (or, more probably, dispute). I didn't realise that cormorants could be so vocal.

The coot dispute has escalated: one tries to dive out of harm's way as the other pursues it, calling and looking menacing.

cormorant drying its wings juvenile cormorant cormorant preening

Cormorant drying its wings.

Juvenile cormorant.


cormorantscormorant preening

drying wingsI find it difficult to draw holding the binoculars in my left hand and the pen in my right so, instead, as the rain passes and the light gets better, I draw the cormorants the size that I see them. next page

Related Links

Anglers Country Park

Wakefield Bird Sites protecting your fishery from cormorants.

Richard Bell,

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