My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Great Crested Grebes - Les Pas de Deux

On Easter Saturday I popped over to Barnes (London Wetland Centre). Generally there wasn't much about..until....I went around to the Wildside and came across of pair of Great Crested Grebes. I stayed (with others) watching for some considerable time in which we were treated to two weed dances. Amazing to watch and I took so many pictures it's taken some while to go through them. But, for what it's worth, here a some of the better ones! And, very occasionally the sun peeped out which was great as I was getting very cold just standing and watching.

At one point, Gary very kindly lent me a sheet of plastic (aka a bin bag) to sit on - I'd left my tripod in the car!!!! Silly me.

When we first arrived there was a great deal of nest building going on by both the would be parents.

After a while they swam about and we thought that was it - a bit of head waggling and then they turned their backs on each other - swam away, dived and came up with some weed... and then they danced!!

After a while more head wagging..

and the routine was repeated..

Their plumage at this time of the year is really spectacular especially when they "fluff" out their head feathers..

During the time we were watching they had mated once... She had prostrated herself many times but the male was very slow in taking up the offer. We concluded that he may be a young Grebe.

After a while a further coupling took place and then they swam around separately.

By now time was getting on so I decided to call it a day. It was amazing just to be able to watch this fascinating courtship drama at relatively close quarters. Whether they'll be an outcome to this remains to be seen - we not sure that the male was very successful!

And today, just a quick walk around Bushy. The clouds were black so I didn't stay long!

At least this Mallard was happy :D

Just one of the, now sadly, remaining two of the four Egyptian Goslings. They're still the only young birds I've seen so far this year.

An unusual occurrence of a Rose-ringed Parakeet on the ground. They only come down to the ground to drink.

A pair of Mistle Thrushes landed in one of the nearby trees.

And on my way back, this area was a busy feeding station where someone had hung a fatball. I had some birdseed in my pocket so added this to the tree stump. And was glad I had as this Nuthatch seemed to appreciate the offerings!

And eventually off home - just hoping tomorrow will be a decent day weather wise - it's long over due!!

Happy Easter or Happy Holidays to you all - and hope


Little Brown Job said...

Love the dancing Grebes and the unusual wedding gift!

mick said...

What a great experience to be able to watch the courtship display of the grebes up close like that and to be able to get photos as well.

holdingmoments said...

The dancing Grebes, one of natures great spectacles. Superb captures Tricia. Seeing them perform like that always brings a lump to my throat.
Well done with the Nuthatch; and I love that laughing Mallard.
Life's good in the company of nature.

karen said...

Absolutely stunning pictures of the Crested Grebes, just lovely x Another incredible post Tricia, thankyou xxx

Pete said...

excellent trish

The Early Birder said...

Super series showing the dancing Grebes. Well done Tricia.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
Wow, I already loved your pictures of grebes last year, but it is even better this year. This whole dancing sequence is beautiful, wonderful!!! You are so lucky to see that and get pictures of it...
Well done on the parakeet picture, but I have to say that the nuthatch pictures are just perfect!!! Well done.

Gaina said...

People associate Swans with love and romance but for me it's the Grebe. The whole courtship is so graceful and touching :).

Tricia said...

Paul - they are wonderful birds aren't they!

Mick - it was such a privilege to just watch...

Keith - a great spectacle indeed. Somehow they seem to communicate with each other much more through their actions than other birds...

Seems the laughing Mallards are always where I am - perhaps they're trying to tell me something.... ;)

Katen - thank you - glad you enjoyed the Grebes.

Pete - Thank you - I was rather pleased :D

Frank - thank you - you'll have to come over with me one day?

Chris - thank you for your very kind comments. It is a beautful thing to watch and because it went on for so long, I could watch for some of the time and forget the camera!

Gaina - I couldn't agree more. I think there' much more of a visual relationship between the Grebes.

Tricia said...

My apologies Karen for the typo in your name when responding to your comment.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, fabulous and even more fabulous.

Razboynik said...

Love the photos.

Tricia said...

Roy - Thank you, thank you, thank you ;)

Razboynik - thank you :D

Anonymous said...

Hello Tricia,
Today I've noticed a mention of Great Crested Grebes' weed dance on Keith's (holdingmoments) blog, asked him about it and he sent me to look at this post of you. What a great explanation I have seen here! :-) I bet the experience was worthy the coldness!

TonyC said...

Great series of Grebe shots Tricia

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