Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rooms with a view

The coot has adapted surprisingly well to using a nest box. Today we counted 10 eggs and although we had seen some leaves being dragged into the box this afternoon there was no sign of them later on.  I've just seen one of the coots trying to drag a twig inside but it fell back into the river and the coot decided to ignore it.  Apart from the occasional 'domestic' among themselves the pair have no external disruptions from rival coots or other aquatic wildlife.

 One of the coots just visible inside the nest box

Flare Tail is less fortunate than the coots and was constantly driven off the nest from around 4.00am until 6.30am when I got up and sent the rogue drakes packing.  Once they knew I meant business they left her alone and she had a peaceful morning until about 1.00pm when the nonsense started again.  At least the interruption gave her a chance to grab some wheat and stretch her wings and she was fine again until 5.00pm when the most persistent of the drakes kept attacking her.  Dave decided to hang a shirt by the nest box and it seems to have put them off for a while, probably because of the flapping!  I don't suppose they'll be deterred by that for too long.

 Flare Tail peeping out from behind her 'curtain'

Some Egyptian geese are nesting nearby and they are terribly noisy and as territorial as coots and Canada geese. A pair has taken to standing by the towpath in the morning until they get chased back into the river by a dog, which happens all too often.  This pair had just been chased into the river when they spotted a rival goose and set to.  They were so caught up in the fight they failed to notice the dog that had chased them was swimming towards them!

A three way fight between Egyptian geese

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