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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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A tale of two Grebes

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....


swatson said...

great shots marking the start of a new generation.Brilliant

Midmarsh John said...

A beautiful set of shots, Tricia. I certainly look forward to seeing the little ones later in the year. John

Warren Baker said...

Great bit of timing tricia. Thats just the way it - is sometimes you strike lucky!

Owlman said...

FANTASTIC photos of an incredible species!

mick said...

Great photos and descriptions, Tricia. I'm glad you turned back for a second look. My birding book says there is a Great Crested Grebe down here - but I have yet to see one.

Anonymous said...

Excellent set of pictures, Tricia.

Pete said...

grebe porn! nice captures Trish

Tricia said...

Sheila - thank you

John - fingers crossed eh!

Warren - yes indeed. Right place and the right time

Owlman - great to see you here and thank you :)

Mick - I'm glad I went back too..

Dean - Thank you!

Pete - Ta - I hope my post isn't censored then!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia, I expect if you go back again they will be repeating the performance several times. They also do the courting dance many times in the spring. Good shots.
(So you needed you shades eventually then.) {:)

The Early Birder said...

Nice series of pics & commentary. Lucky Tricia capturing THE action.

Tricia said...

Roy - I shall be making a return trip and will try earlier in the day to get the light right - without shades!

Frank - Thanks and yes - I WAS lucky!! Lol

MaineBirder said...

Very nice series of photos!

That is one cool looking Grebe!

Graham James said...

Beautiful shots of a beautiful species, Tricia.

ShySongbird said...

Delightful photos Tricia, I will await developments!

Tricia said...

Thank you Graham - they are wonderful birds :)

Hi ShySongbird - watch this space!

avalon said...

What a lovely story you have told with great pictures as always. Nature is a wonderful thing at times. And you had some exercise at the same time

SPD said...

Mum my fave bird lucky you! But we must discuss this voyeur melarky! hee hee.
Cant wait for the young ones to appear

Tricia said...

MaineBirder -they are great looking birds I agree!

Avalon - Thank you. Yes - exercise, birding/wildlife and photography - heavenly!

SPD - Very droll! :D

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