CLOSED: wonder what kind of birds these could be..

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Some days ago I photographed these quite large birds in a protected nature area, where lots of migrating birds from colder climates overwinter. Its an area that gets flooded during that period, so also lots of migrating water birds..
These ones I was lucky to observe for a long time as they flocked together in two large trees.

Thumbnail by bonitin
Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

closer by;

Thumbnail by bonitin
Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

another;
The photo's are not very sharp though as I had no tripod and had difficulty not to tremble from the cold, specially with a telelens..

Thumbnail by bonitin
Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

I was specially intrigued by them because some were spreading there wings and kept these open for a long time and i wondered why they were doing this in such an icy cold freezing day

Thumbnail by bonitin
Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

another;

Thumbnail by bonitin
Marlton, NJ

Very nice pics bonitin!

Marlton, NJ

Bonitin,

They look like Shags to me.

http://www.birdimages.be/show_details.asp?group=Z&browseCounter=349&search=search

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Great Cormorant (F: Grand Cormoran; NL: Aalscholver). Too large, and the wrong habitat, for Shag (they are strictly marine).

Resin

Marlton, NJ

LOL,Darn!

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Here's a Shag (at nest with young; August), for comparison:

Resin

Thumbnail by Resin
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

And habitat shot . . .

Thumbnail by Resin
Marlton, NJ

Very nice; thank you.

They also have a bit of a front crown; right?

Is that w/ both sexes of Shags?

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Yep, no sex differences.

Resin

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Thank you pelletory and Resin!
Could it not be Phalacrocorax pygmeus ? They were large but not as large as Phalacrocorax aristoteles which is 75cm. They also don't have that tuft on top of their heads.
But they should at least belong to the genus Phalacrocorax, as I've just read in a book where they describe that typical behaviour of standing with spread wings.


Resin, in that book they also say that Phalacrocorax pygmeus, (not like the other species which are indeed strictly marine), I translate :
"habitat; Lakes, pools, slow rivers, marshes and dense woodlands with open sweet watersurfaces. Some overwinter in salt marches..
......they gather together cosily in large trees drying their wings."...
So that also answered my question about that strange habit of standing there with open wings exposing themselves to the elements.. brrrr...


I going to try to get a closer by view by cropping...

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Beautiful pics. Resin. I like the decor of the wild cliffs!

Well, I didn't manage to get a reasonable quality in a cropped version of mine. The trees were far off and very tall and my tele lens is not that powerful and my hands were shaking from the cold...
But I give it here anyway..

Thumbnail by bonitin
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Definitely Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo!

Phalacrocorax pygmeus is much smaller, only the size of a small duck, with a short, stubby bill and a long tail. You would also have to go to the Danube Delta (Romania) to see that many of them! (if I remember rightly, there is a single record for the Netherlands, which is the only one ever seen in northwestern Europe)

Resin

PS my pic is from the Farne Islands, northeast England

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

I see what you mean, Resin, you're right, it must be Phalacrocorax carbo. But their size is 90 cm! according to my book.. I must have underestimate it as they were so far off!
Thanks a lot!!

Danvers, MA

Woohoo I was right. I was going to say "looks Cormorantish" lol

Cary, NC(Zone 7b)

Bonitin- very pretty pic. It looks like it could be a album cover pic or something. Looks like a very blue world. Just love your pic. :o)

r30

Gent, Belgium(Zone 8a)

Thank you Rebecca!

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