Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Species
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, June 4th 2008.
Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, June 4th 2008.
(1/100th sec at f13. Click image for larger version . © David Hastings)
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, on June 4th 2008.
Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, on June 4th 2008.
(1/250th sec at f13. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Juvenile. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on August 31st 2017.
Juvenile. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on August 31st 2017.
(1/320th sec at f14. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 68 - 78 cm; WS: 95 - 110 cm

Shag are dark, goose-sized, long-necked birds similar to Cormorants but smaller and generally slimmer, with a characteristic steep forehead. In the breeding season adults develop a dark glossy green plumage and prominent recurved crest on the front of their head.

They are mostly found at coastal sites in northern and western Britain, although they may be seen anywhere on the coast outside the breeding season, and occasionally inland.

They breed in loose colonies on coastal cliffs.

About 28000 pairs breed in Britain, and 100000 to 150000 birds over-winter here.

This species is on the UK amber list, as breeding is concentrated at a few sites.

Sightings

24-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1juv)
22-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1juv)
14-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1juv)
05-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1juv)
31-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2juv)
28-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6juv)