Took my first flight in five years today and day tripped the American Coot at Loch Flemington near Inverness. I had a bit of history that had to be settled with this species, I missed the long stayer at Stodmarsh, Kent in April 1996 as I was on a rock in the North Sea for 6 months. Then in 1999 I was within striking distance of the only other bird since, a one day only at South Walney, but frustratingly I was in a work car, so didn't do it (did get Crag Martin the next day though !). Thanks to the kindness of Highland birder Peter Stronach I was watching the Americano within 15 minutes of landing at Inverness today. It could not have worked any better, got off the plane Peter met me and hey presto the only Coot on the Loch, showing well. We watched the bird with just six other birders for over two hours, very interesting behaviour, much more Moorhen like, diving for weed then cruising back to the mass of floating vegetation on the bank, climbing and clambering out, running inland and placing the weed in the same spot, over and over - almost nest building ? Nice back up of Whoopers, Long tailed Ducks, Scaup and a Slav. Whilst the bird remains with the weed in the small bay it will be easy, should it go walkabouts then it might get much harder. THE only way you will get the bird to approach to within 20ft at times is if you stay in your cars, otherwise it remains at 50-100ft distance.