26th January 2015

Coots, which can be seen in almost any area of water, including all the local parks, behave differently in winter. A few leave the uk for warmer climes and many join our population from Scandinavia but they are hardly ever seen flying because they do their migrations at night. Native Coots only move a little way, from their breeding grounds, joining with others to form big flocks as I saw the other day on Pett Levels, near Hastings. There must’ve been at least 150 together, feeding off the grass like sheep and all running off together when disturbed- very funny to watch. They favour deep waterways like canals and ditches in winter¬†and , as well as eating grass and

Coot with its distinctive white forehead.

Coot with its distinctive white forehead.

A bird of prey spooked 150 Coot and they all ran off together, but none took to the air to escape.

A bird of prey spooked 150 Coot (not all in shot) and they all ran off together, but none took to the air to escape.

Coots typically flock together over winter.

Coots typically flock together over winter.

vegetation, they dive for insects and their larvae. Coots numbers increased once their eggs were no longer gathered, in huge quantities, for human consumption. It’s not too late to do the RSPB Garden Birdwatch if you haven’t already spent an hour recording the birds in your garden. It doesn’t matter how many birds you get, it is the recording of species over time that is important- details of how to do it on the RSPB website. Conditions: Milder, with cloud and some sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 7- Min 4 c.

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