Ford's Pond, Douglas County, Oregon
Coot will have to do.
Sometimes I’m guilty of taking coot for granted. They are a plain bird. They spend much of the day swimming about and diving here and there to come up with soggy strings of aquatic vegetation. It’s a busy life. When I sat down on this cold shoulder I saw one duck, some coot and one shy pied-billed grebe on the pond. Suddenly the coot grab my attention.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “two is company and three is a crowd.” Well five is also a crowd. This little pond has five coots swimming about, two pairs and a loner. The paired coot aren’t happy about that fifth coot. Head low, one of the coots swims in a bee line towards the unwelcome coot. When near, both erupt into a mad scramble across the surface of the water. Water flies, green feet flash, coots squawk. Mr. Unwelcome heads for the cattails. The water settles back into gentle ripples.
Eventually the aggressors win and peace settles on the pond. I’ve lost track of Mr. Unwelcome. I suspect he is resting somewhere in the cattails, gearing up for another round of being chased.
And I’ve discovered we’re not the only people enjoying this lovely day. While we’ve been here two other cars with birders from our small birding group and stopped by to check out Ford’s Pond. We all seem to be thinking that savoring a day out in nature is a good way to appreciate the spirit of the season.