Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Canal Coot

I am just back from a wet but wonderful trip to Amsterdam. In between the showers, the museums, the galleries, the cafes, the bars and the markets we did a bit of canal side strolling Near the Rijksmuseum, sections of the canal have been planted with floating platforms of water plants, just a few feet from the bank. This is apparently a scheme to provide nesting sites for coot, moorhens and other canal birds. It seems to work.
This coot was particularly annoyed by the arrival of two ducks and rushed into the water  ferociously chasing them off. I did not get an action shot but here she is returning to her nest.

canal coot

She was not over impressed by our presence either because she is, of course, protecting a chick or two. I could only see one peeping above the foliage.

Coot chicks with their red spiky featherless heads are not the prettiest “Ahhhh” factor baby birds, looking more like mini vultures,  but I am going to see what I can do this week. Some sketches, maybe a print.

The coot I see here at Grafham are shy and rather secretive. Their feet are wonderful.We see them scuttling across the lane sometimes but on the reservoir shoreline you can see them slowly  searching for food with their strange hesitant gait. 
This is a sketch from last year…


I am very fond of coot. More sketches etc to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment