Wild Fishermen of Whitworth Park!
Dark intelligent eyes stare down past a long yellow beak with a hook tip and into the lens of my camera. Black wings stretched out in the early morning sun to dry after a fishing session from earlier while large webbed feet shuffle to keep warm.
Last year one arrived during the end of summer to Whitworth park and caused quite the stir of excitement, but this year he returned with a friend! Now Cormorants do appear in Darley Dale along the river, however they usually pick areas that are private or off the beaten track meaning that seeing them is difficult. In the park however they are easily watched and after time seem to get used to people, even fishing in the ponds while dog walkers pass them by.
The park is a favourite haunt of mine and due to low funds (in part because of a trip for next year) I've been staying local and the Cormorants add a touch of the exotic to the regular residents of the park. As such I have been building up a collection of images using my old Sigma 120-400mm, a good lens but its quality is poor compared to my other "updated" lens and it has proven to be quite the challenge to build up different poses and behaviour. I still haven't managed any decent swimming or fishing images but have got a fair collection of portraits now.
So I continue to go down in different light and weather ever hopeful to add new images to my collection, all the while just enjoying the sight of these beautiful birds. Everyone seems to enjoy their arrival and many walkers and doggie people have stopped to have a chat while I watch the regal looking birds in the branches above.
It isn't clear on how long they will be staying but last year, if I remember correctly, they left in November before the snow hit. Photographing these birds in snow would be amazing! For now though I'll settle for whatever images they allow me to capture and who knows, perhaps I'll get those last few pictures i'm after!
I guess that's it for this short blog, i hope you enjoyed and remember to Stay Wild!