Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Damp spot

A pair of coots building their nest on Carsington Water. Their nest may be tethered to the bottom in some way but the essential feature is that it floats and that helps chicks survive. It's what coots do but unfortunately and with no wish to criticise the experts, this one seems a little flimsy. 

We watched while they busily added a fair amount of material, mainly lengths of weed and and what appeared to be waterlogged oddments dredged up from the bottom. The whole structure never seemed to inspire confidence though - they climbed onto it very gingerly. Reminds me of government projects but no doubt they know what they are doing.


DCBain said...

The coots have more of a clue about what they're doing than politicians of any stripe.

wiggiatlarge said...

Remember the "floating pound"..........

Dan said...

Coots are also known for a rather unpleasant to watch behaviour regarding their offspring known as "hazing". To offset the occasionally fairly high egg and hatchling mortality they suffer, coots have quite large broods of eggs.

However, rearing baby coots is labour intensive, and the parents cannot cope with more than two or three chicks. So, when confronted with a small flotilla, they attack the weakest chick and drive it away. They continue until they're down to the requisite number for the local food supply.

A K Haart said...

DCB - they do and even if it goes wrong they don't blame other coots.

Wiggia - I do - that was always a bit soggy too.

Dan - interesting. Explains why we have never seen coots with more than two or three chicks. Presumably it is selective - the weaker ones are driven away and the fittest survive.