For the past couple of weeks we have been hearing "pip..pip..pip" noises from the waterside, which signal the presence of a pair of moorhens, walking or swimming along the water's edge, and periodically stopping to view a choice piece of real estate where they can build a nest. Today the inevitable happened - two couples met, competing for the same territory. One male (probably) was up on the top of the bank.
The other male (almost certainly) rushed up the bank at him.
|All hell broke loose|
They hit the bief in a great fountain of water, squawking loudly, leaning backward to kick with their long finned toes, while the females (presumably) took cover. The Marquess of Queensbury's rules forbidding biting, kicking or gouging clearly did not apply, while pecking and water boarding were the order of the day. After about 30 seconds of punishment handed out by both sides, one bird eventually fled (flew! how often do you see that?) downstream, leaving the victor in possession - until the next encounter.
These punch-ups were repeated at intervals of about two hours throughout the day. They are, as I write this shortly before midnight, at it again. Tim has threatened to get some logs out of the chaufferie to bung at them if they keep it up all night.
|To the victor the spoils|
In spite of the beating the birds give to each other, nobody was seriously hurt and the females were duly impressed, which is what it's all about, really.