Swamphen, Coots

Eurasian Coot

A large, blackish aquatic crake with prominent white bill and frontal shield. Looks tailless. Sootyblack head and neck with a more grey than black body and whitish trailing edge to wings. Sexes alike. Juvenile has whitish throat and foreneck, grey bill with no shield. Greenish feet. Feeds on vegetable matter. Flocks may panic and splatter clumsily across the water. Flies low but strongly, with lobed toes projecting. Builds anchored, floating reed nest.

Common Moorhen

Sexes alike. Dark grey head and neck; dark brownish-olive above; slatygrey below, white centre of abdomen; fine white border to edge of wing; bright red frontal
shield and base of beak with greenish-yellow tip diagnostic; greenish legs. Usually in small parties; most common in winter; moves amidst marsh vegetation, jerking tail; good swimmer; jerks head as it swims. The larger Eurasian Coot Fulica atra is a widespread resident.

Purple Swamphen

Sexes alike. Purplish-blue plumage; long red legs with oversized toes distinctive; thickish red beak; bald red forehead (casque); white under stumpy tail, seen when tail flicked up; bald red patch on forehead smaller in female than male. Small parties amidst reeds and other vegetation on marsh and jheels; sometimes large gatherings on vegetation-covered waterbodies; walks on floating growth, rarely swims; rather tame in some areas.