It was a first for me this morning; catching Coot by hand in Stanley Park, Blackpool. Craig has been keen to have a go at catching Coot here for a while and with permission sought from Blackpool Council, this morning was our first opportunity. So armed with G rings, colour rings and six loaves of bread we made our way to the piece of water that wasn't frozen and where all the wildfowl were congregating.
The wildfowl are fed regularly here by 'Joe Public' so they have become quite approachable, but 'Joe Public' don't haul them out of the water! We were going to colour ring the Coot as part of Kane's Northwest Coot Colour Ringing Project, that's if we could catch any of course!
We started throwing bread out and within a couple of minutes Craig had caught the first bird. Then he got another, and another and then Ian caught two. Within 20-30 minutes we had caught and ringed five Coot. All of the birds were fitted with three colour rings in addition to the metal ring so they can be identified as individual birds. Not bad, but from this point on we didn't catch any more as the birds had become very wary.
These were only the 3rd - 7th Coots that Fylde Ringing Group had ringed, the last ones being back in 1991 on Clifton Marsh. There were probably over 100 Coot on the lake and mingling in with them were 14 Shovelers and a couple of Tufted Ducks.
Nightjar survival against the odds - with the run of days of terrible weather since this Nightjar nest started it is heartening to see that the one chick has just about fledged -- hope it now ...
3 hours ago