To complete the trio of small, common water birds, here is the Moorhen. I did cover its bonding habits the other day but this is just a quick look at it in general. The smaller cousin of the Coot, it spends more time out of water than the Coot, even climbing into the lower branches of trees, as seen in the photo from Encliffe Park. It is successful
partly because it feeds in and out of water, on a wide range of foods, including snails, water plants, grasses and insects. It is actually dark brown on its back and blue-grey underneath, with white markings on its side, a red ‘shield’ above its beak, rather than the white of the Coot, and with a yellow tip to its beak. Conditions: A cool, still, cloudy day. Temperature: Max 5- Min 2 C.