I had no idea how awful but interesting this bird is, even its name lacks euphony.  I’m in no hurry to take one on in an ‘all-power meeting’ I’d be sure to lose.

‘Nothing can really prepare you for the reality of the shag experience.  It is an all-power meeting with an extraordinary, ancient, corrupt, imperial, angry, dirty, green-eyed, yellow-gaped, oil-skinned, iridescent, rancid, rock-hole glory that is Phalacrocorax aristotelis. They are scandal and poetry, chaos and individual rage, archaic …’


Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 184

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