Surf-fishing cormorant

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Moody morning skies and tossing sea yesterday. Bird flies low.

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It’s a cormorant, landing in the churning surf.

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The gangly Double-crested Cormorant is a prehistoric-looking, matte-black fishing bird with yellow-orange facial skin. Though they look like a combination of a goose and a loon, they are relatives of frigatebirds and boobies and are a common sight around fresh and salt water across North America—perhaps attracting the most attention when they stand on docks, rocky islands, and channel markers, their wings spread out to dry. These solid, heavy-boned birds are experts at diving to catch small fish.

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This one was under water more than above water. Finally caught a fish, swallowed it, and flew off.

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Also spotted on Santa Lucea Beach yesterday morning: a flock of fishermen. I spoke with one of them. He said they were catching big bluefish. He said he cleans them, freezes them, and when he goes home to Michigan he has a big fish fry for 200 friends. Nice tradition!

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Looking south: a beach house, the House of Refuge tower, and a lone fisherman on the rocks.

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It was too rough to swim but Radar had fun chasing the ball in the sand. It rained on us a few minutes after this photo.

Do not fetch the bird

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We surprised a cormorant, fishing in a spot right near where we were walking on the old rail bed through Hampton Marsh.

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Instead of flying away, the cormorant paddled off. The dog decided to give chase.

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The bird hit the spot where the tidal current rips fast under an old bridge.

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The dog is a good swimmer but I thought that current might be too much for him and he’d be swept down the river through the marsh then out to sea.

“Radar, come back!”

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Good boy.

Sea seekers

Gull

Gull (Herring?)

Not exactly in my backyard, but just a few miles away.

Eighty degrees inland and 70 right along the water today, with sunny skies, low humidity, and big waves rolling in for the surfers. It was impossible to resist the coast.

The Wall, North Beach

The Wall, North Beach in Hampton, N.H.

surfer Bass Beach

A few miles north, a surfer at Bass Beach.

Cormorant

A lone cormorant was fishing nearby.

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These sleek, black seabirds look like they are wearing wetsuits.

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Dive!

From All About Birds:

The gangly Double-crested Cormorant is a prehistoric-looking, matte-black fishing bird with yellow-orange facial skin. Though they look like a combination of a goose and a loon, they are relatives of frigatebirds and boobies and are a common sight around fresh and salt water across North America—perhaps attracting the most attention when they stand on docks, rocky islands, and channel markers, their wings spread out to dry. These solid, heavy-boned birds are experts at diving to catch small fish.