A pair of Coots is currently residing at Niles Pond. I wonder if they will stay the winter. Cape Ann is part of their wintering range, although we are at the northern reaches.
There is definitely a pecking order within the flock of waterbirds currently at Niles. The Geese are at the top, Coots in the middle, and Mallards at the bottom rung. After being chased by a goose, one of the Coots bathed and preened on the special rock that the birds love to stand upon. The female Mallard waited patiently for the Coot to finish. As soon as the Coot swam off, she hopped on to the rock and began preening.