While out on a paddle boat on the dam during our return visit to the Montagu Caravan Park in December, I heard a couple of birds calling in the reeds. On closer inspection it turned out to be a mother Red Knobbed Coot and two chicks.
The Red-knobbed Coot or Crested Coot, (Fulica cristata), is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae. It is a resident breeder across much of Africa and in southernmost Spain and normally found on freshwater lakes and ponds. They build a nest of dead reeds near the water's edge or more commonly afloat, laying about 8 eggs. Their behaviour towards their own young is so aggressive that only a few are likely to survive to adulthood.