Bookends

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Photographing distant birds with a 100mm macro lens is clearly a fool’s errand, and if I’d expected to be walking along the bank of the River Taff this afternoon I’d have taken a decent sized lens with me when I left home this morning – but I didn’t, so I didn’t. As it’s clearly not my finest work I’d like you kindly not to judge me by it, but having said that, I was amused by the pose of this pair of cormorants, which appeared to be studiously ignoring each other.

The brown and white flecked individual on the left is a juvenile, and the black one on the right is an adult, but there’s no particular reason to assume that they’re related. Cormorant chicks are unusually dependent on their parents, fledging at seven weeks and being fed by the adults for another two months, but even after becoming independent they continue to mature quite slowly. They don’t attain their full adult plumage for a couple of years, and usually begin to breed in their third year. In winter cormorants tend to roost in colonies, close to their fishing grounds.

R and I wound walking all the way to Blackweir this afternoon because Baby B was napping in the pram. The poor little chap is still suffering quite badly with the cold he started over a week ago, but despite that we had some fun times with him today. His newest skill is dancing to the music of his big activity centre – or more accurately, swaying from side to side while standing with both feet still, which is pretty much how I dance myself these days. It’s delightful to watch, and I found it impossible not to join in. He’s also started to enjoy having a certain kind of funny face pulled at him, and will laugh out loud if you get the timing and expression just right – which was enough of an incentive to have had me playing the fool for his entertainment all the way home from the park.