Yesterday I spent a hour or so by Lake Lugano, trying to catch in watercolour, some of the beauty which is there. I love painting and sketching birds, somehow they’re a little like people in that they all have there own very distinctive personalities. In this way they also lend themselves very easily to caricature. Among my favourites are Coots, and there is a nesting pair on the lake. I always thought them very cute, like little watery English gentlemen, but after observing them for a while, I soon discovered they have a dark side and are more like mini Lake Darth Vaders than English gentlemen. They were very aggressive, chasing off all the birds and ducks who were sunning themselves quite peacefully at the waters edge including ones, much bigger than themselves. I’ve since learned that they are very territorial, steal other birds eggs and have even been known to kill their own young when they beg too much for food….cute huh!
The cute Coot?