Last Sunday was CCC (Christmas Cormorant Count), an event to follow the movements of the cormorants, which leave their colony in Gyotoku early in the morning. 40 of us spread around the area and stood at the beaches or on the bridges along the rivers, where we could see cormorants flying, and recorded their movement, number and time that we watched from 6-9 in the morning. While researching, we each could only see what we saw from the certain place. But later, when we combined the results, we could follow some big flocks of cormorants, where they flew to and landed on water to feed.
This was something like its tenth year or more (depending on which year to count for the beginning) and this annual event is becoming an established one. Even I joined it six times since 2006! It's a wonderful event for students and local bird watchers to step in the world of researching birds.
After the research in the morning, there were several more events to follow. But I skipped some and drew birds from the Gyotoku Bird Observatory. This reserve is one of very few reserves in Japan which has chairs and desks to sit and watch birds. It's nice to have them for drawing purpose!
The grey heron in the dusk.
A grey heron caught a huge flat fish and tried to gulp it down. But he couldn't. The fish was too big. He dropped it, picked it and tried to gulp it several times... but he couldn't! He brought the fish on to a bank and tried it again there... but he couldn't!! It seems that he really didn't manage this time. Silly Heron!
A study of the black-headed gulls.
I even did some "colour studies" inspired by Turner!
There was a Christmas party in the evening. The great thing about this event was that many people from different background, including research specialists, conservationists and famous artists, joined and we could talk to each other like longtime friends.