Ye Ole Coot

Now there is a fable that there is a land not too distant, fifty miles in fact, of a land called the kingdom of the Coots, aka the lagoon in the inner city of Palmerston North.
A land that should one desire to get great photos of Coots, a pilgrimage to this land of promise was not to be turned down.
So when I was invited by Toya, queen of the baby stilts, to accompany her to the kingdom of the Coots, I accepted her kind offer and in the fullness of time she picked me up along with her son who was a fellow traveller to the said kingdom but for different reasons.

Fifty miles doesn’t take long when your half asleep as I was and with Toyas son dropped off we approached the lagoon full of anticipation and the hope that this time I would secure a image of a baby Coot, as to this present date I have no images of these amazingly colourful chicks worthy of mention.
As we approached the water’s edge we were challenged by the king of the Coots who rather aggressively carved his way through the water directly at us with a look of intense menace on his face.

as per normal click on any image to see the full size version.

Australian coot(Fulica atra australis)

As he got closer and realised we were so much bigger than him and totally unafraid, his courage left him and he departed to the distant reaches of his kingdom to exert his rule over his subjects.

Once that danger had past we were immediately under attack again, this time from a whole clan of insurgent’s.
I have no idea of their species but just one look at them made my blood run cold with fear.

ducks-2990-Edit-2-2

We searched for Coot babies but found none in the suitable age bracket
When first hatched and for a few days after the chicks have a brilliant orange colour on their heads and they look way cool, ugly as, but still waaay cool.
How ever there were a great many Coots to be seen of varying ages and it wasn’t long before the cameras started clickerty click, click, clicking.
It was clear each couple of Coots had territories that were to be guarded and at one stage a massive punch up broke out when a outsider decided to muscle his way in to another couples romance.
I ended up with shots that were problematic due to the way the light picked up the sprays of water as the Coots went to it, but still I am happy with the results.

Australian coot(Fulica atra australis)

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I was surprised to find a pair of common grebes feeding two chicks handy so my attention was on them for a while.
The mother carries her babies on her back and even feeds them while still on her back, Im think these chicks are only a day old or close.

here the mother has a small fish to feed her chick which she does while it is still on her back

weweia or dabchick or common grebe(Poliocephalus rufopectus)

weweia or dabchick or common grebe(Poliocephalus rufopectus)
In the next post we will continue the search for the perfect baby Coots

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