Coot Chicks

These little chicks are coot, you might say. I saw them, on the vlei at Marievale, far out on the water, at the furthest reach of my 500mm telephoto, and even then I had to crop the images severely.

The teeniest chicks, interestingly, were the furthest out – mere orange-beaked fluff, ┬ábeside the black hulls of the adult coots, where the water changed colour. Closer in, an older and larger chick was a supplicant, scrounging like any adolescent. And then there was the solitary young ‘un, its oversized ungainly claw like a fifteen-year old with size ten boots.

 

Against the light

From the corner of the hide, you looked out across the water, directly into the light, where the coots were squabbling and giving chase, and I knew at once that this was an image made for black-and-white. I took several photographs, aware of how tricky the light was, and struggling with the heavy lens to keep the birds in frame. This one came out best.

Against the light