Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Plants by freshwater lake.

Here are some plants by a lake. What do we have? Oh, I don't know . . . some ragwort and plantain, maybe a bit of sorrel and cranesbill . . . and some feathery stuff which might be fennel or not . . . but who cares? They really are of very little interest today because, nearby, are some jolly interesting feet.

The feet of a coot (Fulica atra) - blue!

I've never looked at the feet of coots (Fulica atra) before. Mostly, when I see coots, they are swimming so their feet are under water. I think I've come across them pottering along edges where their feet are obscured by grass and, if I'm thinking anything, it's 'I wish they were moorhens'. But, here, on the concrete border of Radipole Lake, there's no hiding.

I can hardly believe them. In case you are doubtful too - I promise you, this is what they are like - blue with wavy edges! It's as if they've been crossed with seaweed.

Feet don't get much of a look in. Feathers, yes - but feet?

Feet and legs of a herring gull (Larus argentatus) (Pink.)

Here are the pink feet of a herring gull (Larus argentatus). If it were a black headed gull, it would have bright red legs, not pink. If it were a lesser black backed gull, it would have yellow legs. (There would be other differences too - it's just that this is a leg and feet post!)

Feet and feathers of a male mallard  - Anas platyrhynchos (Red)

The red webbed feet of a mallard  - Anas platyrhynchos. (This one a male.) 

 Feet of a mute swan (Cygnus olor) - black

And the black feet of a mute swan (Cygnus olor).

I'm not a bird person. I'm not going to buy a pair of binoculars and start gazing out to sea or onto the water instead of into the hedgerows all of a sudden but . . . well . . . I was bowled over by this lot. However do they manage to walk without falling over? And the colours! And the shapes! And none of them fierce or claw-like.

I usually post at weekends but, since I'm eight feet ahead of myself, I'll press 'publish' now.

P.S. Don't forget to let me know if you have tree following posts you'd like to have mentioned here.


Toffeeapple said...

Have you seen the feet of a Moorhen? Bright yellow and looking like Starfish!

Lucy said...

Hi Toffeeapple. No. Not seen moorhens' feet yet. (YET!) If it weren't for heavy rain, I might have gone back today for more feet-photos. The moorhens night then have had a staring role!

Down by the sea said...

Those feet are amazing, those colours and shapes. Thank you for opening my eyes again to the world around me!
Sarah x

Diana of Elephants Eye said...

for some reason, my feet, now feel UNeasy, uncomfortable.

Lucy said...

Hi, Sarah. I expect you visit the Radipole reserve from time to time too?

Hello Diana. How strange that this makes your feet uncomfortable. Thinking about it . . . I wish I could have feet like coots. They seem slightly impractical because one foot seems to get in the way of another so they end up standing on their own toes . . . but don't you think they are beautiful? (They're certainly prettier than mine!)

Becky said...

If we had cool feet like those we wouldn't need shoes. Love your photographs! How did you get them to stand still for it?

Lucy said...

Hi Becky. These feet would be good as gloves too. (Sort of!)

Mark Willis said...

In current weather conditions I'm surprised that those birds don't all have BLUE feet.

Rowan said...

This is a really interesting post, the feet of the coot are amazing. I hadn't thought about it before but now you mention it they are always in the water when I see them. I shall look more closely at feet dfrom now on!

Alistair said...

Oh my, that was quite some feat achieving photos such as these. That coots feet make mine look almost acceptable.

Donna said...

I love these feet...the color of the coot's feet are so different...I need to include my tree following in my monthly journal...I have planted many new natives and my robust mature trees are doing well...thx for the reminder

Bridget said...

Amazing! Especially those blue wavy ones.

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating post! I shall be looking at bird's feet from now on. Flighty xx