Monday 8 January 2024

Coot takeover

The local Coots have started warring again. Maybe they never stop? Earlier this week I had four in a face-off, warily circling one another, necks and heads to the water. From time to time one would lunge at another one, and the other two would then pich in as well, though whether in defence of the first one or in cohorts with the other was impossible to tell. Eventually one would have enough and shoot off with the other three in pursuit and then this curious western would begin again on a slightly different part of the pond. They seem to have no off button.

Alexandra Lake currently has the most Coots, I counted 59 at the start of the year and that is probably under-selling it. The biggest concentrations, gangs if you will, is at the end near the car park where people arrive to dump rotting veg, bread, rice and other wholly unsuitable foot stuffs. I've blogged about this before, no need to again, but when this happens you don't just see a melee of Gulls and Geese, the Coots are front and centre, all their battle training coming to the fore. You don't even need to have food, just the fact you stand on two legs is sufficient to have them all hurtling out of the pond to stand at your feet. So far I've not been attacked for being empty-handed, but you feel that day will surely come for one poor unsuspecting visitor, and they will be mercilessly pecked to death and then dragged into the shallows to be consumed. The Moorhens - and there are quite a few - will take the scraps.

No I didn't see a Northern Waterthrush at the weekend in case you were wondering.


  1. Send one to Skye, please. They are an absolute cosmic mega up here.

  2. Saw Waterthrush yesterday! Rare away day. Far too many old men there including me!

    1. I went away for week as it happens, but the bird was good enough to stay.