American Coot running on the water of a pond – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I don’t have many decent photos of American Coots in flight and that isn’t for lack of trying, I’ve found that it is difficult to predict when these coots will actually lift off or if they are simply running across the water to avoid conflict with another coot, so there are times when I see them running across the water I will focus on them and take multiple images with the hope that they will lift off and take flight.
When American Coots run across the water it is called “Splattering” or “Spattering” and when a coot is attempting lift off they have to splatter for an extended period of time to become airborne.
Last week I saw an American Coot start to run across the water of my local pond without being involved with another coot which made me think it might be attempting to lift off so I aimed my lens at the coot, locked focus and fired away.
American Coot running on water in afternoon light – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I knew the coot would be small in the frame but I liked the setting, the reflections on the water and the nice afternoon light. I also enjoyed being able to see the greenish lobed feet that this species is known for. I kept hoping that this running American Coot would become airborne but my hopes were dashed because it stopped short of taking flight. Apparently this coot was simply trying to get from one side of the pond to the other as quickly as possible.
Oh well, I won’t get the photos of American Coots in flight that I want unless I try.
Life is good.