I went to Bushey Park this morning (although the day dawned a bit grey) and arrived around 10.30 ish. I decided that I wasn't going to stay just around the Boating Pond but wanted to stretch my legs. However - I was distracted!
I noticed that there was a pair of Great Crested Grebes who were investigating various nests. They were diving and bringing up vegetation and placing it on one of the nesting platforms. They then lost interest and I followed them as they dived and swam up to the very far end of the pond.
All this was between 10.53 and 11.01 when they finally moved on.
First the detritus was paraded and placed on the platform.
Then twigs were added..
and that was all for the moment! I was hoping to observe a "courting dance" but it was not to be.
I then walked through various parts of the park and through both the Woodland Gardens - but more of that for another day.
Having walked now for about three hours including a stop for a coffee and a quick bite to eat from the eatery in the Park I decided to go back to the car. Having packed most of my gear into the car and as the sun was now shining, I decided to have another quick look for the Grebes - and I'm glad I did.
They were back where I first saw them and more nest building was in progress.
From 14.05 to 14.16
They then decided to swim further down and came to another newly built platform and this is when their behaviour changed. Frustratingly they swam to the side where I now had no option but to take pictures directly into the sun.
They both inspected the platform and finally the female climbed onto it and lay down - this was a signal to the male.
Initially the male seemed shy of the messages so clearly being indicated by the female and turned away
but he changed his mind and their relationship was confirmed!
Finally they turned to face each other before
swimming off. And tomorrow (as is said) is another day....
I shall be watching out for little ones in due course. A pair bred successfully last year so fingers crossed....