The F words

(After this post I will probably go quiet till March, because I am heading to Zambia today. But when I come back, brace yourselves!)

I am testing my new camera before heading off, so each morning I wander round the Serpentine in Hyde Park.  It is Valentine’s Day as I write this, and clearly Hallmark picked mid-February after watching London’s waterfowl. The males are engaging in two activities that begin with “f”, the first of which is fighting.

Here is a coot, psyching himself up for his joust. Pay attention to the feet, they are his weapons.

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Coots have an amazing technique. They launch themselves out of the water by using one foot as a sort of single waterski:

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and the other foot is then used to karate-kick the adversary in the chest:

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and with luck submerge the poor sod.

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The swans just push each other around and chase their competitors away:

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Then the victor (possibly Zeus in swan’s form?) reaps the spoils (and this is the other word that begins with “f”).

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To calm you down, here is how the greylag geese spend Valentine’s Day: some mutual grooming,  a little cuddle…

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One thing leads to another,

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and the result is a happy gander:

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The upshot of all this is apparent when, outside the café, I almost trip over an Egyptian Goose family (such a cosmopolitan city we live in), recently enlarged by seven new chicks (three of which are still hiding underneath her skirts.)

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After all this excitement, you probably need a rest, so luckily for you there will be two weeks of silence from me..

 

 

2 thoughts on “The F words”

  1. Wow, Moira, Zambia, you may have already left!! Have a wonderful time. I love these coots and enjoy all your posts, the pictures but also the interpretive commentary, even if I don’t always comment. Certainly makes me a better observer. Be in touch when you return,

    xox Anne >

    Like

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