Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Amazing Cormorant Tree of Big Waters.

We all know money doesn't grow on trees. The Spaghetti Tree was just an April fool on Nationwide but today i saw the legendary Cormorant Tree of Big Waters. It does exist. Here is the proof. It only bears "fruit" every 25 years or so.

This photo. has not been tampered with in any way. I opened the shutters in the smaller hide, having called in on the way back to the car having spent a most enjoyable few hours in the company of Mr. Cheviot and quite a number of birds the most obvious being the Siskin. Anyway, as the shutter dropped and the light flooded into the darness of the hide the oracle was before me. I couldn't believe what i was looking at and made a grab for the Canon. I had heard the tale of the tree from a couple of ageing birders but personally had my doubts. It had been spotted, as the stories go, very early in the morning, in first light, coming out of the mist that hangs over Big Waters in those conditions. Today it was mainly grey and overcast without a hint of mist and there it was!!
Earlier, on the way to the main hide Mr. Cheviot and i had enjoyed views of 2 Treecreepers spiralling their way up a couple of trees in the small woods and a male Godeneye displaying, almost putting his neck out, to 3 more than interested females on the water. I know spring is relatively a long way off but this sight and that of some Mallard at Morpeth the other day kinda getting jiggy lifts the spirits. The birds seem to think the worst of the winter is over so here's hoping. I got my Tree Sparrows immediately on arrival in the feeding station but the bonus was the twenty odd Siskin on feeders and the ground. A couple who were also in the hide had spotted a Water Rail in view but also some 10 minutes later, the guy made known that over 60 Siskin lifted from trees beside the scrape, travelled over the lake and into the small woods. While this was happening the twenty odd others were still in the feeding station. Male and female Reed Bunting others notable with lots of the usual birds on show. I actually got my first Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year today, a rather handsome male but that was dwarfed by the Cormorant Tree, a real LIFER.
I suppose there will be a twitch now. It might be a stampede.

Just a thought.............what sort of tree do TREE SPARROWS grow on ? There must be one of those up at Big Waters also judging by the numbers of Tree Sparrows that are there.


  1. Some birds just don't look right in trees John.:-) I've seen trees in Europe covered in Cormorants and Pygmy Cormorants. Brian

  2. I don't if you have come across this particular tree but it looks almost petrified. So any sort of bird decorating it is a bonus. I'd like to see those Pygmy Cormorants. Cheers.

  3. Thank you for your kind comment Ben.
    Here, have a bone.