The coot with the white feather is a female bird which the Bird Protection Society of the Coot Club have adopted and monitor. The coot has a white feather on one wing (CC5), and when Tom looks at the nest he sees her on the nest: It was as if the centre of the nest was capped with a black dome, and on the dome he had just seen the white splash of a coot’s forehead (CC6).

The No. 7 nest is down river from Horning, and is in a little bay where a narrow drain opens out into the river. The nest is at the base of a clump of reeds, so that the coot with the white feather (is) sitting on the top of a broad, high, round platform made of woven reeds which they have built up when the river rose after the great rains. The Hullabaloos had moored the Margoletta right across the mouth of the bay so that the lazy brutes can go whichever way they like on shore without having to use their dinghy (CC4)

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