It’s been a few months and here’s what’s happened:
The small collection of angry teenage coots grew up into beautiful grown-up coots.
There was another group of babies, but they disappeared pretty quickly – probably the heron that has been hanging around the bushes.
The nest was swallowed up by the canal again, so they haven’t laid another clutch, and there hasn’t been much in the way of babies.
Until today. When this little dude appeared.
Look at that little squawky face!
He’s been wandering up and down the canal all day, just squawking at Mama to feed him.
“Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom I’m hungry! Moooooooooooooooooooooooooom!”
They are definitely teenagers now. All awkward and adorable.
I thought they had been reduced down to two, but there are definitely four teenage coots hanging out around the place. One of them was squawking furiously this afternoon, trying to get the parent to pay attention.
“You don’t understand me, Dad! I’m my own person!”
We’ve been having a greenfly explosion along the canal recently. Terrible for walking in, and I’d hate to think of what the cyclists are dealing with, but the coots and ducks are
As proven by how big they’ve gotten in just a few days – they’re not babies any more! They’re turning into
Still like to get a treat from the parents, though.
Also, look at these fat and happy ducklings:
Enjoying the sun, having a lovely time in the morning.
It was windy on the canal this morning, and the parent coot’s feathers were getting all ruffled. That couldn’t have been comfortable.
Later on, though, the four babies were learning about eating the algae and moss that grows along the banks again, and they were adorable.
I also got to see some ducklings up close too.
Look at these cuties:
This morning, they were swimming up and down the canal, enjoying life.
Then this afternoon, I only saw three, and they were all sitting on the nest.
Then again, they were learning how to be coots, like grabbing twigs to build the nest and seeing what else works.
Something must have happened recently, because one of the parents is definitely protecting the hell out of the babies today.
And based on the cheepings, those babies were not happy.
Especially since the ducklings were swimming around all free and delightful.
It turns out that the old nest that they have in the actual canal has become their home, now that they don’t have eggs to worry about.
So the other one is the nursery and this is…kindergarten, I guess.
There are four babies, with two swimming around with one of the parents and the other two sitting on the nest.
I like this, because it means better pictures, but also because it means that they’re using that nest and yet not losing babies.
Also, the Mama Duck with her many many ducklings made an appearance.
How she manages that brood, I’ll never know.
This morning, the family was alongside the bank next to the office, learning how to eat algae and moss off of the bank wall.
Of course, being along the bank wall meant that it was difficult to get shots of the entire family, because there’s the slightest overhang and if I wasn’t careful, I’d be joining them in the canal.
But I did get this great shot of one of the babies getting a snack.
There’s definitely a nest in the usual spot they used to nest at, but I haven’t seen it populated. It might just be instinct that’s causing them to set it up there, but, at the same time, it’s nice to see.
I also got to see the ducklings thriving nicely.
And a rowboat that had either been used for joyrowing, or someone hadn’t tied it up well enough.
Maybe the coots will make a nest out of that.
Aw, look at the coots hanging out in amidst the grass.
Wait, what’s that up there?
There were definitely four babies today, walking around with the parents, enjoying the nature of Tinker’s Leen.
Tinker’s Leen is definitely a great place for them – the water’s shallow, there aren’t pikes or anything to nab them from below, and there are plenty of grasses and small insects to enjoy.
Before I got to the babies, though, there was this lovely diving around the canal:
And ducklings up near the lock:
Yesterday, it was pouring with rain, which meant that Mama Coot was hiding all the babies, and I was too busy trying to get indoors to actually take a photo.
Today, it was bright and sunny and I’m guessing that Mama was taking them out for a morning constitution, because the nest was empty.
And speaking of morning constitutions, that Mama Duck with all her ducklings were down further on the canal, enjoying a nice swim.