Monday, 13 January 2014

MEGA - American Coot, Loch Flemington

I decided it was time to get the first mega of the new year under the belt and it was also the double bubble that my next lifer was to be my 400th species in Britain (BOU). So when news broke of the American Coot at Loch Flemington, Inverness I decided to make plans. The lads I usually do long-distance stuff with were both busy so it was just me to go. I ended up booking flights both ways from Gatwick to Inverness and decided to get to the loch via taxi rather than hire a car to keep costs down.

Loch Flemington

As the cab driver dropped me off thinking I was completely insane coming all the way from Sussex to look a
at in his words 'a wee shanty black duck thing' the Coot was on show immediately. I stayed for the day watching the bird feed then rest in about hour intervals. When the bird was feeding it was using a mixture of methods, mainly gleaning vegetation from the surface but on occasions continually diving and re-surfacing with a variety of weeds.

Several times the bird looked like it wanted to come to the edge to feed by the Mute Swan's and Moorhen's kept hassling it when it came close. The light was a bit of a nightmare for photos as it was in your face for most of the day and there is no way of changing the angle as viewing is limited.

In the evening when I was enjoying the bird on my own it came a bit closer and seemed to be happy feeding with the Mute Swans and occasionally giving the Moorhens a bit of a beating too. From the layby which you view from I also noted 250+ Pink-footed Geese, 9 Goldeneye as well as 4 Yellowhammer.

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