On the way back down the coast on Saturday I called in at Blyth South Harbour on the off chance of a Snow Bunting. No buntings but a diving bird near the harbour masters office attracted my attention. There is a well known Shag roost on the north pier but I've never actually found one fishing in the harbour although the Cormorants often do.
Noticably smaller and without the white skin near the lower mandible adults are easily distinguished especially close to breeding. They also have a different diving style to Cormorant jumping further out of the water in a true dive rather than sliding under. I tried for an age to get the bird wholly out of the water but my reactions on the shutter button were just not fast enough this being the best I managed. The majority just had tail and legs showing.
Also distinctive is the crest on the head. No doubt the bird was sick of battling the weather out at sea and found the harbour a pleasant respite. Thoughts should soon be turning to heading for the breeding colony.