A Curious Cormorant

Shakin' - 2013 © Christopher Martin
When we were in Cabo San Lucas in early December, I saw many cormorants flying past our beach.  They fly low and fast with little deviation from a straight line past the shore.  The odd one would dive under to fish but our location did not seem to be a great spot for a meal.  One morning, I was watching for Brown Pelicans, who will occasionally land quite close by, when a juvenile Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) popped up on a rocky shelf about 30 meters away.

Jumpin' up - 2013 © Christopher Martin
It looked at me for a second, started shaking off the water and then set to preening its feathers.  I was thrilled to see one of these birds closeup.  From afar, they appear to be completely black.  With this opportunity, I was able to see the different shading in the feathers and the lighter shading around the face.

2013 © Christopher Martin

Shakin' all over - 2013 © Christopher Martin

That was interesting for me but the location made the images even better than the close proximity.  It had chosen a dynamic spot where the waves were breaking close behind it, one even crashed right on the bird.  The water droplets from the cormorant’s shaking, the sea spray and warm morning sunlight as well as some nice looks from my new friend made for a really great encounter.

Breaking surf - 2013 © Christopher Martin

In the surf - 2013 © Christopher MartinThis fellow preened again for a few minutes after this and a couple of other waves crashed.  Then it flew off the rock down to the water.  I left it swimming and diving for fish.
Into the air and back to the water - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Ocean swimming - 2013 © Christopher Martin

8 responses

  1. Pingback: Great cormorant, underwater video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Great cormorants swimming synchronically, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. vastlycurious.com

    The last photograph just made me so happy !

    January 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm

  4. I love these! I always like seeing cormorants holding out their wings to dry – although I guess your guy didn’t have time for that, what with the shaking.

    January 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

  5. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Stunning images.
    I guess this was one of those ‘Right place, Right time’ moments, but you certainly did well to capture the cormorant with such great focus and the beautiful background of sunlit water.

    December 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm

  6. marvellous!

    December 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm

  7. Beautiful shots! Happy new year and keep up the great work!

    December 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  8. what a great capture chris, just outstanding, happy new year!

    December 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm

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