Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 11 January 2012 20:51
OK so it's been a bit quiet recently with moving house and report writing. Today however, things notched up a gear at Woods Mill. Mike Russell rushed into reception after a walk around the reserve and announced the presence of a Woods Mill rarity on the lake. What was it? Only a Coot! I've been at Woods Mill three months shy of four years already and I was yet to add Coot to my Woods Mill list. I may have gripped Mike off with the first records of Merlin, Tree Pipit, Hawfinch and Crossbill in that time, but I needed Coot. Boy, did I need that Coot.
There was a tense few seconds as I waddled the 100 m up to the edge of the lake after a heavy lunch. There it was, resplendent in the afternoon sun. A Coot really is a beautiful bird, with so many colours and patterns that it's sometimes hard to take it all in at once. I must have sat there by the lake for a good three seconds before I returned to my desk. As I was nearing reception I heard the bird's delightful call. It would shame a Nightingale. Who needs all that fancy fluting and warbling when you could listen to the ear-splitting, monosyllabic, 'hammer striking stone' sound of a Coot? Thanks Mike, you've given me a contender for the natural history highlights of 2012 already!