Coots nests are built out of of twigs and frankly any old rubbish they can pull out of the canal. Coots seem quite happy to make use of anything they find, and this bird has made her floating home on polystryene packaging attached to the side of a narrowboat.
Here’s a photo I took on a previous drive down the canal. The staircase must be a recent addition.
Here’s another coot’s nest. Coots commonly attach their nest to something like a branch to prevent it from floating away. Some of these nests can grow quite tall, shaped like little volcanoes, with the coot perched on top.
Good luck to these coot chicks. Most of them don’t survive past a few weeks, as the parents struggle to feed them all.