This moorhen is seen at Urswick Tarn where it remains one of a species that is still readily seen on this rare marl tarn, albeit perhaps not so readily as was once the case.  Like the coot, the moorhen is a member of the Rail [Rallidae] family.  Whilst the moorhen has had a long historical presence on this tarn, its numbers have never equalled the extraordinarily large population of coot that the tarn was renowned for from historical times.  Tragically, and for reasons as yet to be verified, coot numbers have declined over the last century, a decline that was already recorded a far back as 1906.  Within living memory a very large population was still resident on the tarn but the long recorded decline has continued to the point where they are now very rarely seen despite a continuing presence on other bodies of open water on the Furness peninsula.  A deep sedimentary layer of haematite mine tailings at the bottom of the tarn is the current focus of investigative attention.

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