Cormorants back on local rivers, says Sheffield wildlife expert

Cormorants have a close relationship with humanity and in some places especially in Japan and China are even used by traditional fishermen.

Friday, 25th December 2020, 12:30 pm
A cormorant on the River Derwent at Chatsworth

Indeed historically, cormorant fishing was also used in Greece, North Macedonia, and for just a short period, in both England and France.

Fish-eating birds are not always hugely popular with local anglers, but surely it is nice to see goosanders and cormorants back on rivers across the region.

Standing out on a dead tree to dry their wings, a cormorant has an almost reptilian appearance.

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Today, even in the heart of the urban centres these birds are seen on rivers, park ponds, and millponds for example.

Cast your eyes skywards and you have a good chance of seeing cormorants overhead with their characteristically laboured deep-winged flight.

A combination of water pollution, DDT pesticide use and persecution meant that they were extinct in our region by the 1970s.

Since that time, the recovery has been quite remarkable.

Prof Ian D Rotherham, a researcher, writer and broadcaster on wildlife and environmental issues, is contactable at [email protected]

Follow his Walk on the Wildside’ blog at ukeconet.org for more information.

Talking about hedgehogs, he says…

Hedgehogs love piles of twiggy rubbish under which they can nest or in winter, hibernate.

So, when rewilding your garden, it is worth using cuttings of woody shrubs and the like to form low, dry mounds which can be covered with green herbaceous material over the top.

You can buy a pre-made ‘hedgehog house’, but the brash pile is cheaper and equally or more tempting for would-be residents.

A message from the Editor

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

A message from the Editor

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.