A pair of coots has taken up residence on the Mere this year and Elaine Hoyes has kindly done this superb sketch of one for us to use as the Front Cover.

The coot is smaller than a duck but larger than a moorhen. Both sexes are the same, with black plumage and a prominent white bill and forehead. The moorhen has a red bill and white under tail coverts.

The coots had found themselves a nice little island, away from predators, on which to build their nest. Sadly their chosen site was one of the straw bales which had been put in the Mere to disperse the algae. The female has been valiantly brooding the eggs whilst the male has been frantically bringing reeds and twigs to shore up the island. This has been slowly disintegrating beneath them and they have now had to abandon it.

Nature can be cruel! They are presently swimming and diving for their food at the eastern end of the Mere and will soon be starting the nest building all over again. I trust they find a more stable site this time. We wish them well.

Eternal Truths

Dogs have owners.....Cats have staff.

Remember, once you get over the hill, you will begin to pick up speed!


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