Thursday, 7 May 2015

A coot pair settles

Two of the coots have stayed in the park and today my suspicions that they were a pair were confirmed. They have shown a lot of interest on the nest that the moorhen who nested in the tree has built at the base of the tree on the water, on the free time allowed by the care of its now two chicks. But that will be something for a different post. On the top shot, one of the coots examines the moorhen nest closely.
Shortly after, the Coot was chased away by the Moorhen, the nest owner.
One of the coots calls the other with a trumpet-like call.
This morning, both coots were near each other. One of them picked a piece of stem and carried it to a clump of vehetation on the shore and rearranged it using her feet and bill. Then, the other coot approached and gave it chase closely, with the first coot swimming to the shore, standing and adopting the curious position of a receptive female, head curled down under her chest. The male then clumsily climbed on top, although he fell down before completing the copulation. I get the impression these are first time breeders, and the breeding instinct is just kicking in. The following are a couple of shots of coot mating pairs taken in another local park where coots are plentiful, illustrating the female position. They often mate on or near the nest. When they are on the water, the female actually submerges her head.

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