Following on from my post yesterday comes a couple of photographs of a Cormorant on the Ogmore River. This particular individual came in to land much closer than normal and allowed me to get some decent shots. Light levels at the time were extremely poor and the wind-chill factor meant that my fingers were frozen to the bone. Despite the pain the pictures I feel are worth it. Apart from being my first Cormorant pictures they also show the white thigh patches and neck streaks of the breeding plumage that appear for only a few weeks in late winter and early spring. Cormorants tend to breed very early on in the year hence the breeding plumage already being fully developed.
Also out on the river was a flock of twenty four Goldeneye consisting of both sexes and also a good number of juveniles. The Ogmore River is a regular winter haunt for these seasonal visitors though this bunch seemed unusually flighty. They were even taking to the wing when walking past a good distance from the river. I fear that the presence of dog walkers has made these birds overly cautious. A couple of the males were throwing their heads back as part of their courtship display which was nice to see.
Elsewhere the river was very well populated with the usual Gull species as well as several Redshank. A pair of Gadwall were a nice addition as was a single male Wigeon. The lower reaches had far more Oystercatchers present than I have seen here before, and the resident Mallards seem to be edging closer and closer to the sea at the Rivers mouth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them give up the river completely one day and head off out to sea. I have seen Mute Swans in the sea off Aberystwyth beach before so a precedent has been set.