After watching and photoing "The Badger" around midnight I finally slipped into slumber after listening to the shipping forecast at 12.50 a.m. I was surprised to find myself awake and unable to return to sleep at about 4.30 a.m. In the end I had a cup of tea and drove of to Grove Ferry with the image of a Bittern walking around a few feet in front of the hide stimulating my imagination. And that's where it stayed, along with the Penduline Tit, which I didn't see either.
Although I missed out on the main attractions, I was interested in this Cormorant. I think it is the sub-species sinensis, known in the UK as Continental Cormorant. I also remember, in the distant past being told that very old "carbo" cormorants, the sub-species that normally breeds in the UK can develop a lot of white on the neck.
It certainly was a striking bird, but after only a couple of dives, and I didn't see it catch anything. it moved on.
Like a lot of big water birds it took a while to get into the air.
The pictures are rather grainy because this all happened at about 7.15 a.m. and on a cloudy morming it was still rather dark.
On this picture the large white thigh patch,that develops in the breeding season is clearly visible.
There's a good paper on "sinensis here