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  • Barbara Copperthwaite


Coot and chick, by Barbara Copperthwaite, Go Be Wild

Fresh from the egg & photo read: a Coot chick

The pond is a real hive of activity at the moment. As well as the new Moorhen chicks and Mallard ducklings, the Canada Geese today showed off their brood for the first time. The pair proudly swam along with their seven fluffy yellow goslings.

But the newest addition of all is not yet ready for the water – in fact it has only just hatched. I was lucky enough to see the Coot mother and father changing places on the nest, and as I used my camera to zoom in to get a photograph, I noticed a tiny movement, almost like the fluttering of a leaf in the wind. Using the camera on maximum zoom (and trying not to let it wobble too much, no mean feat at 50x magnification) I saw a tiny Coot chick peeking up. It is so fresh from the egg that it is barely strong enough to hold its head up, but I manage to get this touching snap of it gazing at its parent.

The Nuthatch I’m watching is definitely feeding a hatched brood too. I spied it rushing from its nest with a beakful of white in its mouth – almost certainly removing faeces from the nest, the smell of which might otherwise attract predators.

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