Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Walking on Water.

During a brief stroll around Heron Pond in Bushy Park on Monday I spent some time watching two of our aquatic species from the Ralidae family that have no difficulty 'walking on water' .... when it's frozen.

First up was the [Common] Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) purposely stalking across the ice and typically carrying its tail high which it flicks up and down as it walks. Like other rails their long toes are spread well apart to provide them with excellent stability on such a slippery surface.



The other species was the [Eurasian] Coot (Fulica atra) with its distinctive white frontal shield and the lobed flaps of skin on its toes (see close up below). When fighting one another their feet play an important role in both attack and defence and I'll share a couple of recent images in a future post.



When one individual stepped off the ice into a small area of unfrozen water it was interesting to see how it gripped the ice ledge with its sharp toenails and used its wings to provide the impetus to regain its footing back on the thin ice.  FAB.


Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday.

22 comments:

  1. great shots! such neat birds and funky feet. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your kind words Frank. I love the white face on the Coot. Carol

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Coot's feet appear too big for his body...they're definitely unique. It will be interesting to see how they use their feet in defense.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love how you captured the bird on ice and the approaching the bird closer with each shot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Frank. Both of these birds feet are amazing and both do a great job. Lovely shots especially the close ups.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've collectively called these guys mud hens. Yep, I'm no naturalist. They abound around these parts, but they'll never be traipsing on ice here. Happy Tuesday to ya.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Чудові деталі показані на фото! Гарний птах...

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stunning post Frank,love the close ups.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Both are cool birds, wonderful photos..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now that's what I call big feet! Great shots Frank.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I see the bottom one is banded. Interesting bird. Like our Coot, with the big feet.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I never knew they had such big feet!!!!,...:)JP

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cracking shots, Frank! Love those Coot feet! They remind me of clown feet!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great pictures Frank. Always a joy to watch these birds, but the ice makes it all that more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Their feet always seem so out of proportion to their bodies.. but so fit for purpose :) good shots, Frank..

    ReplyDelete
  16. very interesting images. Especially of the coot. Made me smile :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Frank, these were such fun to see...beautiful birds and walking on the ice, just adds to the beauty!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful shots! And those birds are so neat to look at. Their feet look kind of alien to their bodies, especially the coot.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Frank, I'm in awe are your gorgeous photos - a wonderful insight to those incredible feet. No wonder they can 'walk on water' ! Well done :D)

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Moorhen has some long toes but the Coot has even longer, funnier looking ones! I love how he is using them and his wings to lift himself out of the water.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful captures Frank! Either could have the nickname 'Bigfoot'. :)

    ReplyDelete

I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

If 'Word Verification' shows up then it's a Google glitch. Just ignore it and click 'publish' as usual.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails