Now for a bit of a mystery...............when I reached the towpath between the Alders lakes I noticed seven dead coots lying along the edge of the (now receding) ice in the bottom corner of the big lake, pictured below. No mystery there I hear you say, they must have succumbed to the cold. True enough, but i'm sure they weren't there when I walked past on the way out, also all the rest of the coots which have been stuck in this corner were now standing on the ice on the opposite side of the lake. In fact they all started walking back across the ice as I stood there, up to eighty of them maybe more all in single file as if they were being marched by the Pied Piper, it looked quite bizarre, the second picture shows just some of them (click on it to enlarge).
Maybe they did die of cold or hunger, maybe they got themselves trapped under the ice and drowned, only appearing as the ice receded a bit, or maybe someone's been shooting sitting ducks!!