Thursday, 17 February 2011

Foot Fighting.

I am sure that any of us who have watched Coots (Fulica atra) will have seen a few squabbles on the water from time to time. It usually all happens so quickly that it is difficult to see exactlly what is happening but this week I managed a few shots (sorry but not top quality because the gear wasn't set up for speed!) that shed some light on the use of those extraordinary lobed feet.

 I initially spotted one individual, head down,  'in attack mode' heading speadily across the water ......

 ..... and in a flash it was face on, belly to belly with another of its species, both creating a fine old splash.

This shot shows one foot firmly pressed against the others breast but who actually has the upper hand?

As these two spun around I was able to grab this image and there is no doubt in my mind that those feet with their very sharp toe points are a force to be reckoned with.

For a close up of those extraordinary feet just click here.   FAB.


  1. Amazing series of photos! You did a great job. I can't imagine them being any better than that, but you'd know! ~karen

  2. Oh my goodness Frank! Lucky you for getting to witness and photograph this event. What interesting feet they have...they DO look formidable.

  3. These altercations get very nasty Frank.

  4. Wow! Spectacular sight...the last photo is stellar. They have the most unusual looking feet...always cool to see. (Haha! my word verification is "cluck"--fitting.)

  5. Hi Karen. Well you know ... the perfectionist always wants something better!

    Hi Mona. Fancy trying to get shoes to fit them .. lol.

    They sure do Roy.

    Hi Kelly. 'Cluck .. cluck' .. how appropriate. Their feet look way out of proportion to the body but they serve various purposes.

  6. Woah, pretty cool action shots Frank~

  7. Wow! Fascinating! Your camera slowed it down for us. Yes, I've seen squabbles, but never realized how deadly they could be! Great images!

  8. Very interesting shots. I've seen these guys spar before. Now I know what they are doing.

  9. Wow! Fantastic images of aggressive coots, especially how they use their feet!

  10. Thanks Bob.

    Cheers Mary.

    Yes Lois, those feet weren't just made for walking!

    Thanks Red and Hilke. Just another syle of 'kick boxing'.

  11. Oh my gosh .... these are AWESOME!! What a great look into their behaviour!!

  12. Thanks Kerri. It's always fun to spend a little time with these guys.

  13. certainly know how to capture a moment.....fabulous.

    I managed to get some (not too good) images of the reed bunting.
    I posted on My wildlife sanctuary, it you are interested.

  14. Hi Cheryl. More often than not this sort of activity happens so quickly that that the 'watcher' just watches rather than attempt to capture an image or two ... this time I was just lucky!
    Delighted to see you captured the lovely Reed Buntings feeding in your garden.

  15. Love the last pic.
    Great moment!


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