Saturday, 9 May 2015

Bald as a Coot

I have recently upgraded my canon camera to the latest model and today was the first time I have had chance to put it to the test.

I decided to pay a quick visit to the local park to check on the Swans as I am certain they would have nested by now. On arrival I found a number of odd things.

Firstly there seemed to be two Swans sitting on nests. One was in plain site in a poor location beside the cycle path and another was on a more discreet nest set between the pool and the river. In the past few weeks I had only seen one pair of Swans. The two nests are fairly close together so it is possible they are of two different pairs or it is possible that the pair I recorded built several nests and the male is just resting/roosting on one of the nests. This is borne out bu the fact that no other swans, the 'males' were observed.

Having recorded the swans I took a circular walk around the pool and found another unused swans nest and a dead coot. There did not seem to be a mark on the bird and it was fresh, perhaps only a few hours old. It is possible he was a casualty of one of their violent clashes between rival birds.

I also stumbled upon a Coots nest and was surprised to find that they already had chicks. Coot chicks or Cootlings as I like to call them are balls of black full with ugly red and black heads with flecks of orangey red feathers. The red often confuses people into thinking they are Moorhen chicks. They two are black but have a more 'cute' appearance.