Friday, 5 May 2017

There are just five babies now.  Since two of them are visibly larger, I’m guessing the two that are gone were probably late hatchings and were easy to pick up by predators.

One of the adult coots preening while the babies hang out around the nest

They were all hanging around the nest today, which made it easier to get closer photos, and I managed to actually get my phone to focus right today.

One of the babies swimming around the canal

One of the adults was picking up twigs and other debris to add to the nest – I guess the squatting ducks pushed everything out of place.

The adult coot picking up twigs

But the two bigger babies are happily swimming around and causing trouble.

Two baby coots swimming by the canal concrete banks.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Although they were close to the edge of the canal, my phone didn’t focus properly, so I ended up with a lot of photos of blurred balls of fluff.

But the adults photograph well.

Adult coot by a brick canal bank

The babies were swimming around, but one kept hanging around the nest.  I figure maybe to stop that duck from taking the nest over.

Two babies swimming and one on the nest

So instead the duck hung out on the bank. She’s very friendly and quite happy to hang out with us. And if you’re standing, she’ll go sit in the shade you’re creating.

A female mallard duck sitting on a brick patio

You sit there, duck. You do that.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

They were down by the Castle Lock today, and close to the other side of the bank, so I was able to get some nicer photos.

One adult coot and one baby coot

The babies are very good at being in formation, it must be said.

Adult coots and all seven baby coots swimming in the canal

Meanwhile, back at the nest, there’s a female mallard duck that is trying to turn it into her nest.

Female mallard duck sitting on the coots' nest

The coots do keep coming back and reclaiming their property, though.  I suppose with all the work they put into that nest, a duck squatting is just too much to handle.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Still all seven!

Seven baby coots swimming with two adult coots

They’re now veering towards that awkward teenage stage rather than the cute fluffy baby stage. The yellow feathers on the head are starting to look straggly and their wings aren’t those adorable little nubs.

The coot family swimming in the canal

They also have a lot more independence, as proven by how they’re swimming around. They’re following their parents, yeah, but they’re also looking around and keeping their distance.

Seven baby coots swimming with two adults

I’m so glad they’re all still around, and I hope I get to see them in their really ugly gawky teenage state, where their adult feathers are coming in, but they still don’t have the white bit on their heads.

Friday, 28 April 2017

I only saw five babies today, but I’m not discounting the other two, since they were swimming around and hard to see around the banks.

One of the adult coots and three of the babies by a grassy canal bank

I was going to get a better shot of them, because they were by the office side of the canal and fairly close to the bank, but by the time I got to the office, they had moved down too far for me to easily get a shot.

Adult coot with two of the babies near a concrete bank

I also saw goslings today, so I’m hoping for some nice photos of those cuties as well. I might hate Canadian Geese, but their babies are cute.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

They were all sitting around the nest today, with one swimming around being chipper.

Mama coot sitting on the nest while one baby pokes at the water

Most of them are hiding under Mama, but one of them is trying out different things around the nest, picking things up in their beak, really enjoying being a bird.

While I was walking on the other side of the canal, a big raven swooped in attempting to take one of the babies. It flew in, all giant black wings and doom from the sky, and then flew away when it realised that the babies were hiding under Mama and also under the vegetation of the canal bank.

It was still loitering around when I went inside. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take any of them.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

They’re all still swimming down by the train station end – thankfully not too close to the Castle Lock, but still pretty far down from the nest.

One of the adult coots in the canal while the babies play on the rubble

The babies are really easily camouflaged against rubble, which is interesting.

The babies on the rubble

One of the parents started swimming indignantly towards me again.

An adult coot swimming furiously at me

I know, I know, I’m just taking a picture, okay?

An adult coot glaring at me

On the other hand, it looks like the Canadian Geese are nesting, so we’ll have goslings soon.  Those are also adorable.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I can safely say all the babies are still around, because today the entire family was down closer to the train station, with the babies standing on a concrete bank while the parents swam nearby.

The seven babies on a canal bank while the two parents swim around

Seven babies!

Being on the other side of the canal, I couldn’t get the best picture, but one of the adults still started squawking and flying towards me, like I was a threat.

I am a person on the other side of the canal. I cannot get near your babies. You have nothing to worry about.

Monday, 24 April 2017

I can’t tell if all the babies made it through the weekend, but I definitely know there’s a third one that’s swimming around a lot more now.

Mama coot with two of the babies

While one of the adults goes to the other side of the canal to nibble on the vegetation, the three of them swim around in the middle, always getting closer to the bank, and then swimming back to the nest before they get too far.

One of the babies swimming

The three ducks that regularly hang out on the patio area were back.  If they end up nesting, that will be amazing, because while coots are ugly-adorable, ducklings are just adorable.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Two baby coots swim around the nest while Mama sits on it.

There’s definitely at least one adventurous little one – constantly swimming around, following Dad, cheeping away while Mama sits on the nest and clicks at it.

The other little one in this photo is a bit adventurous as well, but still happy to hide under Mama from time to time.

Dad likes to scare off anyone who comes near the nest. He furiously paddles towards ducks, then starts flapping his wings, speeding up, shrieking at them.  So they move on.

Because of this, the ducks tend to hang out on the brick walkway right by our office, but they don’t have ducklings, so I’m not bothered about them.

But today I saw a swan flying as well. That’s something I haven’t seen before.