Cormorant Island, Paxton Pits … and Graculus.

I LOVE cormorants! Always have, always will.

What is it about them..with their strange snaky necks and shaggy black wings?
We had a walk in Paxton Pits on Saturday and there on a little island in the middle of one of the ponds were maybe a dozen cormorants.

“Ahhhh” I said, as I always do when I see a cormorant,  “Graculus!”
For that is surely where my cormorant love started, as a little girl watching in complete rapture, the gentle, beloved tales from the North,

where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the Northlands tell a tale. They tell of Noggin, Prince of the Nogs. ”and the regal great green bird Graculus. “I am Graculus, royal bird of the Land of Nog. Guide and protector of Noggin, Prince of the Nogs”


graculus bw

Early black and white Graculus

noggin and graculus

And with Noggin off to find the Ice Dragon…

Remembering these lovely stories by Oliver Postgate made in stop motion animation by Smallfilms is being wrapped in warm blankets in front of a blazing fire with hot cocoa and everything that was wonderful and safe and magical about childhood.

If you want to see them again, hear that haunting bassoon music and those gentle soothing voices just go to Youtube and listen to the wonderful opening to Noggin the Nog. Ahhh….


It was my first visit to Paxton Pits Nature Reserve and it was fascinating. So much to see and so far to walk and all for free. How very lucky we are in the UK to have these places.

I read that these are mostly the gloriously named Phalacrocorax carbo carbo Cormorants. And yes, there were bees, lots of them, but I just had to sketch the cormorants this time.

Paxton Pits Cormorants

paxton corm island     cormorants paxton

Sketches, pen and ink ..10 x 8”