Splendid photos Geoffrey, making the differences clear. Can I just add that there were remarkably few records of Pied Cormorants – only two – in the COG databases for July 2010-June2011. A single bird near Yarralumla nursery; another near Bungendore. Not sure if this means there have been fewer of the species around or whether folk haven’t been bothering to record them. For my part, I haven’t seen them in their relatively usual haunt of the pontoon near John Knight Park, Lake Ginninderra. b
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Wednesday, 8 February 2012 11:49 AM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Cycle path from Streeton Drive to Lake BG - Pied Cormorant - request for confirmation
Hello Jean. This got forwarded again. No matter. Well, a Pied Cormorant is certainly possible. They are common on the coast, but we only get them occasionally on LBG, usually down near the carillon or the hospice, but they must feed more widely. Size isn’t much of a guide when it’s a single bird. The main difference is the head - and makes the ID fairly clear if you get a decent look. Differences shown below with Pied on top. Little can vary according to age, whether just out of water etc, but top of bill is less than half length of head compared to Pied about same length. This seems like a slight difference but gives the head a quite different, chunky look in the Little. Another difference if the bird is out of the water is the black trousers on the Pied (second photo) G
From: casburnj m("bigpond.com]","casburnj");">[
Sent: Tuesday, 7 February 2012 3:55 PM
To: 'Yarden Oren';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Dollarbirds 4 - etc - cycle path from Streeton Drive to Lake BG
Thanks all for your response. I had a long ride yesterday and was a bit tired when I got home. I realised after sending my email that I had made a mistake with talking about surrogate parents for Dollarbirds but did not correct it. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.
I am fairly certain that the Cormorant feeding young was not a Little Cormorant as it was much larger than a Little Cormorant and I remember a pinkish area near the base of the bill.
I saw another or the same bird foraging above the dam spillway about 15 minutes later. However if anyone can find the birds again to confirm or disprove, I would be very pleased. Their location was on the lower end of the Molongolo River about 2/3 of the way from where the bike track turns into the track along the river – i.e. about 500m down river from the Tuggeranong Drive overpass. I could not see any sign of a nest as the birds were on bare logs and the trees along the river are dense in places. It would be necessary to wait for flapping of wings to spot this family.
Presumably we’re talking Little Pied Cormorant. Pied Cormorant nesting on the Molonglo would be a major rarity!
Dollarbirds in two different places - all immature.
One bird seen before the Cork plantation at the top of the hill along the cycle path.
Three Dolarbirds in different stages of maturity in the same tree down from the Aboriginal Art Gallery, near the picnic area. In this area were 2 Noisy Friarbirds, 2 Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes and at least one Red Wattlebird. I wonder which were the surrogate parents?
Clearing along the lower Molongolo river of burnt pines is in progress today. I did not count birds because the edges of the river are very overgrown. The Ranger out to spray weeds told me that willows along the water’s edge are to be removed. Hopefully not both sides of the river. There was no sign of Rainbow Bee-eaters today, but quite a few young Darters on nests (approx. 10) and in trees exercising their wings for flying. Also today more Cormorants in breeding mode than on 16 January. One Pied Cormorant was attempting to feed 4 flapping and clamouring black young birds perched next to each other on a branch overhanging the river.
Small birds to be heard but not easily seen and some White-plumed Honeyeaters.