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The Great Cormorant

One of the most common birds to occur in Mai Po in the winter is The Great Cormorant, and the local species in Hong Kong is Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis.

RIGHT NOW there is the fabulous sight of hundreds of these big birds filling the sky as they leave their roosts at dawn and head to their feeding grounds nearby.

I think many people (ie birdwathers) find them too common and they are large, awkward (you should see them try to take off), and overall inelegant bird. But I love their eyes and colours.

They are not liked by commercial fisheries too....and they gulp down huge fish....look at this catch below. (forgive the poor quality was a long way away and i'm working on a better one).

I have read that most of the birds feed out in Deep Bay or other offshore areas, which is probably just as well.

Poster child for our government?

So many birds roost in the trees that they become white with bird poop...but it makes a stunning image of their black shapes against the skeletal trees, and that is Shenzhen skyscrapers in the distance, just waiting to march forward to unify with Hong Kong.

Can you imagine the shrimp farmers in Hong Kong, looking with envy and anger as they eke out a living locally, whilst their cousins over the "border" have got fat and rich on the proceeds from the land development? (where perhaps birds and beasts have been less valued as the city expands relentlessly, unless they are a special meal on a table).


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