Dennis Forsyth writes on February 1st: About this time of year Cormorants, usually double-crested, begin to gather in Baynes Sound near Denman West. At least, this is where I have noticed them most often in the past few years. It gives us bird watchers a great opportunity for some seriously up-close observation as they are quite comfortable with human presence right up to the railing by the four pilings where they can be found resting, preening and drying their wings usually in the morning around 8:30.
Today six of them were there squabbling over perching rights. I suspect that the approaching mating season is part of the reason for the gathering. Mike tells me that the emerald blue eye is one of their mating display effects. In the bottom photo you can see the small gland from which they get the oil with which they dress their feathers. Dennis