Before I visited the local shops I went down beside the lake to see the progress of the Australian Coot chicks which I have been following since my first post on 6th October 2014.
I have blogged about them here, here, here and here.
It has been a month since I visited the lake and of course the chicks have grown hugely in that time.
There were signs of greater independence from the chicks and greater reluctance to feed by the adults. In a new move I found an adult and two chicks grazing on the grass alongside the path.
As long as I stood very still they were very happy to pass close by me and for me to get a very good look at these remarkable birds.
Constantly on the move meant anticipating when to click the shutter but here they are and look at those feet!
This close up photograph of the adult bird’s feet show fascinating webbing.
No wonder they can zip through the water at speed when they want to. The feet of the young are very similar showing that nature prepares new generations very well for survival. Factor in such vigilant and devoted parents and these chicks have had a great start to life.
I’m looking forward to seeing the striking white beak and white marking above the beak emerge fully on the juveniles.
It is 12 days since I visited the local Lake and took some photos of the Australian Coot family and other water fowl.
Today near the edge of the lake was a parent and one chick.
Look at the size of those big paddling feet. It is no wonder that the Coot chicks can scoot along like little speed boats at times.
There was no sign of the other parent or the second chick so I decided to walk around the path further in the hope that I would find them on the more sheltered side of the rushes.
No luck there but I could see the Pukeko family together in bulrushes much closer to the path. I set off in that direction but rounded a corner to see this family heading my way.
Caution was the option I took and after taking two photos of the high-stepping proud parents and their fluffy cygnets I retraced my footsteps and left the swans to their outing.
As I neared the path back to the shopping centre I spotted the two Australian Coot parents and both chicks.
Feeding the young ones was very much the business of the day. The parents repeatedly dived to pluck weed or vegetation to offer to the peeping chicks.
Then one of the chicks swam off in a very independent manner to balance on a bulrush and peck at the foliage or perhaps to rest up with a full belly.