The indomitable coot – addendum: yesterday I posted about how aggresive coots can and this fantastic picture from Ian Butler demonstrates the point quite splendidly… I imagine the heron got a bit of a shellacking when it touched down!

Ian Butler Photography

I flushed this heron whilst walking around the reserve and unfortunately for the heron it flew straight towards a coot nest.  The adult coots then proceeded to launch a full scale attack on the heron for being too close to the nest.  The heron then had to change direction quickly, which ultimately lead to the heron slowing down and landing about a foot away from the coots nest, which lead the coots to become even more aggresive because of this.  In the end the heron flew past me instead of the coots which in my opinion was the safest option in the first place! Whether the heron thought that the coots would be more concerned about me and tried to take one of the coot chicks or whether it was just an honest mistake I dont know.  It happened extremely quickly and this is the one of the images of the pair of…

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5 responses to “

  1. That’s a great image – almost tells the tale without needing the words.

  2. Thanks, Finn, as always. That photo reminded me of an incident when I was a boy, cycling across the headland of a field, alongside a big ditch. Suddenly, right beside me, with huge commotion, a heron took flight from the rushes, utterly terrifying me, and causing me to lose control of the bike and crash. So I suspect that, in defending their nest, those coots were also overcoming great fear!

    • I’m not sure coots know fear, I reckon the heron was probably more afraid! I can imagine your consternation though, herons are big birds to be flying at you when you’re on your bike, especially when there’s no warning.

  3. That’s an amazing shot!

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