Monday, August 4, 2014

Battling Coots

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
On July 21st I was lucky enough to be invited along for a putter down the Thames, on a boat belonging to a friend of a friend.  At one point near the Marlow locks, I witnessed a brutally sharp conflict between three Coots.  A lone Coot, seemingly confused or separated from its mate, appeared from behind some boats waiting for the locks, calling loudly.  Its distress calls were soon echoed from the river back, and within the space of ten seconds, two more Coots raced out from some reeds towards the first one.  The two Coots on territory fiercely attacked the intruder, alternately pushing it under the water and biting its head.  The whole confrontation lasted maybe a minute, before the lone Coot staggered off down the river.  Intense.

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