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elegant predators

I saw the Oxford Cormorant today. Strictly speaking, there are two Oxford Cormorants, a thought which fills me with the delightful thought of the Thames between Folly Bridge and Iffley becoming ground zero for a new species of inland cormorant. But they don't hang out together very much, so perhaps not. Anyway, I caught its astonishing flight, lurching and primitive, as it came in to splash down on the water, bright with reflected autumn leaves, looking like a bird that remembered being a dinosaur recently. Then it dove under the water, with the grace of a seal.

I watched it come up again, empty-beaked and then dive under again, an incredible, liquid movement. This time when it came up, it shot me a dirty look and went back under on a truly epic dive, re-appearing two narrowboats-lengths (and a good two minutes or so) downstream. I took the hint and wandered on.

The tiny ginger cat who had been chilling on the tow-path last Friday was there again, still looking like he wasn't old enough to be out yet, still with big golden eyes. This time, he started trotting along with me towards the road, and I thought it was time to consult his labelling. Hmmm. He's coming across the road from Grandpont, silly thing. I popped him back in the field to chase yellow leaves; he didn't seem hungry or thirsty, or especially distressed; I guess he's still young enough to find the smell of my cats on me comforting rather than annoying.

Check it out! Here's the first tenovertwelver! Thx bloodlossgirl!


( 12 worms — Feed the birds )
2nd Nov, 2010 07:42 (UTC)
a bird that remembered being a dinosaur recently
That's what I think when I see pheasants, of which there are a multitude in Herefordshire at the moment. (Along with a multitude of gun-toting, SUV-driving, Barber-clad toffs, wielding their privilege to ruin the peace of the countryside with the barrage of 12 bore shotguns.)

jackfirecat and I met that same ginger cat on the Grandpont nature reserve the other weekend, I think. It was being berated by a very squeaky squirrel. It tagged along with us awhile, too.
2nd Nov, 2010 08:17 (UTC)
they have that triangular, raptor profile
Cat's firmly labelled enough that I think he's a bit of a roamer. But I'm glad he's ranging on his own side of the bridge, too
2nd Nov, 2010 09:47 (UTC)
Aw, I was worried about the tiny ginger cat too -- I thought it was the one from the end of our street (at least I've seen a tiny ginger cat hanging around the end of our street & thought I'd seen it going into one of the houses there) but I wasn't sure enough which house I remembered seeing it going into to go & ask them if their cat was OK, & every time I tried to get near it to look at the collar it looked nervous & started edging away. Cats don't seem to trust me, I dunno why, maybe I smell of badgers. :-}

I have only ever seen a cormorant up in Wolvercote, from the bridge by the Trout -- is that one of the two?
2nd Nov, 2010 10:14 (UTC)
Yes, that'll be one of the cormorants, they have a big range and are hunting up and down the Thames and tributaries.
Unlike little ginger cats --- I think yours is probably another one, tis the season for nervous little cats to be allowed out for the first time, after all.
- expect they're nervous of you because you are as yet uninfected by cat parasites.
Althoigh the badgers may be a contributory factor....
2nd Nov, 2010 11:34 (UTC)
Is tenovertwelve running late...? 'Cause we're now coming down to Oxford this Sunday (plumbing is working again) so could do a CD by then. Are you around for us to call in late Sunday afternoon anyway to say Hi?
2nd Nov, 2010 11:40 (UTC)
No problem with delivering tenovertwelve this sunday (I'm putting it together next week) but I shall be at Comiket this sunday, catching up with Ellen
2nd Nov, 2010 11:43 (UTC)
Coots and moorhens always get me for being birds that remember being dinosaurs - it's the lobed feet, like some sort of alien tree thing.

*mumble* Tenovertwelve going to be late and last-minute again *mutter*
2nd Nov, 2010 11:51 (UTC)
No bothers, you have to write a song about cardigans after all
2nd Nov, 2010 17:35 (UTC)
Coots particularly - they have that dinosaur beak and beady eyes. But their feet are a bit comedy, like leaves for toes. (Moorhens have long toes but otherwise aren't they normal for bird feet?). Saw one running running in the flat mud of the exposed bottom of St Saviour's Dock at low tide, going *slapslapslapslapslapslap* straight down the middle until it ran into the water. I think you had to be there, but it was very funny.
2nd Nov, 2010 19:34 (UTC)
I lol-ed
No, I think it's intrinsically funny
2nd Nov, 2010 20:31 (UTC)
I saw a coot in a tree once. No, really. By the river, but on a branch. It looked wrong but in a comedy way.
3rd Nov, 2010 09:13 (UTC)
possibly I spend too much time by the river
I've seen a coot nesting in a tree
( 12 worms — Feed the birds )