Here’s a sight I haven’t seen for a while but always enjoy when I do.
This barge moored in St Katharine Docks is called Aleph. Its rudder projects out from its stern with its straight flat top just below the surface of the water. The coots know this and find it a convenient perch for preening. They look as though they are standing on the water!
I have often seen an adult pair sharing the perch but today it is an adult and a chick. Mum is showing baby a good place for preening.
Coots have a vivid white mark on their foreheads which makes them easy to spot and identify. Though you can’t see it in the photo, the youngster has a red mark. This sometimes confuses people into misidentifying young coots as moorhens because moorhens, both young and adult sport a red mark.
There used to be ducks and even cormorants frequenting this basin but I haven’t see any of these for quite a while. I don’t know what has caused them to stay away. Happily, the resident coots are still here to pose for the occasional photo.