For some reason I perceived coots as rather timid, retiring birds. Bird guides frequently describe birds as “shy” (or “not shy”, or “not that shy”) and while there is an anthropomorphism element to this, it also captures a truth. However this morning at Marlfield Lake coots were considerably livelier – flying over the water creating a striking scissoring effect on the surface, making their distinctive, somewhat electronic cry (reminding me a little of a more condensed, less pulsatile starling, or some kind of car alarm)


In Holland in mid March I had observed the torpedo-like swim of the coot as well captured in the opening seconds of this video:

However what I witnessed was not in the context of a fight… as far as I can see.

Anthropomorphism is always something of a risk (but is it that big a deal?) Something in the monastic, rather serious demeanour of the coot inspires a great deal of affection from me. Why I don’t know…



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