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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


“What’s that?!” It was an understandable question as a large black bird emerged from the swollen waters of the Wharfe, barely ten yards away from us. I’d barely finished explaining that it was a Cormorant before it dived again, and we scanned back and forth to see where it was going to emerge. Cathy then remembered that she had seen people in China using Cormorants to catch fish from their boats. Whilst this is a spectacle yet to be seen in LS21, they can still make for quite an impressive sight, not least in their size – you can easily spot them flying above town on the Wharfedale Avian Super-highway. Also, when I were a lad, they only bred on the coast, but since the eighties there has been a significant move inland, where a longer breeding season is much more productive. Unfortunately the large volume of droppings a colony produces over time often kills the trees they’re nesting in.

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