Survival success

A family of coots
A family of coots

DELIGHTED staff at Fairburn Ings nature reserve celebrated the survival of a family of coots whose nest was washed away in the torrential rainfall last week.

Darren Starkey, site manager, found the nest with a mother coot and four chicks on Friday after staff and volunteers feared the nest had not survived the rising flood waters from the rivers Aire and Calder.

Mr Starkey said: “We were all so relieved to see the nest and the eggs had survived the flood. It must have risen with the floodwater and floated to the side of the pond, where it settled as the water receded.

“The area floods very quickly – as it is meant to do during spells of heavy rainfall – and we always fear the worse for the wildlife when this happens. But this is a great story of how nature can survive natural disasters.

“Having the coot chicks in a pond so close to the path is a great opportunity for people to get closer to nature. Fluffy chicks and ducklings are always a great crowd-pleaser.”

For more information about volunteering at the reserve call Chris Woolner, visitor experience manager, on 01977 628191.