Most often seen swimming & diving for food on open water, it would be easy to think that the Coot (Fulica atra) is a duck. However a quick look at those long legs and large, individually lobed feet (rather than webbed), designed for walking, running & even sprinting, mean that this is a member of the Rallidae family. Unlike a duck, the Coot is able to spread it weight and can be seen walking over floating vegetation, including water lillies and in this instance was 'walking on the water'
Most rails are shy, retiring and therefore often difficult to see but the Coot is fairly tame, numerous and more often than not very noisy - uttering short-tempered "kut" calls plus other clucks and discordant noises. Apart from those extraordinary feet its most prominent feature is the white frontal shield (larger in the male than female) set against the coal-black plumage. It will challenge rivals by lowering its head and the aggressive threat display, starts with a charge across the water, then the adult leans back and attacks, striking opponents using its long legs.
The nest is a cup comprising any available plant material located just above water level. Coots are normally very attentive parents, but their aggression beyond adult rivalry, can seem sinister when very occasionally you may witness an adult attacking a chick sometimes fatally. This behaviour is thought to be linked to food supply - reducing the brood to match resources!