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, 3 March 2010

Dancing grebes!

I'm a little out of sequence in posting my blog as I haven't posted the pictures from last Saturday when I was "north of the Thames". However, they will follow in due course.

Yesterday, Spring happened!! I went off to Painshill to try to photograph the Goosanders in good light. Good light there was in abundance; Goosanders had left 10 minutes before I arrived!! They seem to be coming and going so I'm still hoping for a bright day before too long..

All the usual birds about but I concentrated mostly on landscapes which I will save for another day.

After Painshill and some necessary food shopping I headed off for Bushy Park. By now it was mid afternoon and the sun was beginning to sink. I hear and saw a Great Crested Grebe - it was calling for its mate. After searching I saw the second bird and so did the Grebe. And now it is getting towards 4.30 p.m. and the sun is low.

The Black-headed Gulls were beginning to show why they are called such!

At the top of the pond, a Grey Heron was sunbathing..

I took a chance and took this shot straight into the sun; I quite liked the sunlight lightening the Heron's beak.

The low sun made for some interesting colours and reflections..

And now the stars of the day. This Grebe was calling and sinking its head and neck low along the water..

It's mate joined it and they faced each other; heading-turning then started..
accompanied by stretching the neck upwards..
and then backwards along its body..

They then both dived and came up with some weed. By now the sun was really low although it was a wonderfully warm colour..

and the dancing began..

This was obviously only a practise run as it lasted for just a few seconds before they stopped and swam off together. Great to watch and I shall go back. Last year the coots chased the Grebes off the nest and I saw no evidence that they had had any young. Perhaps this year, although it's a very open area and not that good for Grebe nesting I would have thought.

As they swam to the far end of the pond I kept pace with them, but there was no further dancing.

And today? By complete contrast it was grey again with a bitingly cold wind. I needed to get some more printer ink from Tesco's so as it was on the way to Barnes (London Wetland Centre) I headed over there first. Very very little about in terms of bird activity.

A Green Woodpecker sat immersed in the branches of a tree
and a singular Redpoll landed high above my head.

Just have to wait for the Spring migrants now......


Chris said...

Wow Dancing in March already!!! I dream of seeing that with my own eyes, how lucky you are!!! I guess this is still not gonna happen soon over here with our Slavonian grebes because the lakes are still frozen ;-) What a beautiful set of pictures you got already from this dance. I kind of guess you will soon go back there. I also love the green woodpecker picture are well as the reflection shots... Well done Tricia, this is a wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are great!
'Spring happened' in Belgium too last saturday, but on sunday we had the remains of the storm that hit France so fiercely, and now the temperatures have dropped again (although we had sun, sun, sun the last two days!)

Bob Bushell said...

The dance of two Great Crested Grebes, they are in your pictures. Very good.

Foody said...

Those pictures are fantastic. I hope you enter osme competitons with them.

Randy Emmitt said...

Some of the best photos I have seen from you! Those grebes are really something.

Eagleseagles said...

Beautiful capture of a lovely event!
Just love the GCG dancing!

There were a couple of Firecrests reported at Bushey yesterday - came up on the pagers plus a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker has been heard (not sure if seen in Canal Plantations.
I'll let you know any further details
when I get them.


Fungus McBogle said...

Your Grebe shors are brilliant, well done! In my opinion a ten-fold compensation for missing the Goosanders!

The Early Birder said...

Lovely captures of the 'Dance of Spring'. FAB.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Tricia. The Grebe dance is so special, I have never forgotten seeing it on your blog last year and subsequently on the TV, I do hope I will see it 'in the flesh' myself one day soon.

I also particularly liked the Heron photos.

Midmarsh John said...

The 'into Sun' photo of the Heron came out very well showing detail which would normally be missed.

Must have been great to see the dancing Grebes. Only seen that on the idiot lantern.

Anonymous said...

Superb sequence of photo's of the
GCG's Tricia. I do like the others too! Oh, nearly forgot the B-H-Gull aint bad either lol.


oldcrow61 said...

Well, it certainly seems that love is in the air. Those Grebe photos are marvelous.

Wilma said...

John is right - the into the sun photo of the heron is lovely. And the grebe series is terrific. I'm glad that you have spring with water in its liquid form! We are in the midst of a big thaw, but still have 10 inches of snow in most places.

Tricia said...

Chris - it is a marvellous sight. You've still got yhour Slavonian grebes to look forward to.

AnneTann - thank you. That storm wasn't nice was it! Hopefully you're getting some sunshine too now.

Bob - Thank you. Hopefully I'll be able to see this again as it's early days yet.

Foody - thank you very much. There are many people taking much better pictures than I do - but I enjoy what I do.

Randy - thank you very much.... I love watching Grebes!

C - thank you. It's a wonderful sight isn't it!

Ian (aka Mr. McB) thanks - it definitely helped :D

Frank - thanks and yes, the Dance of Spring indeed!

Jan (SS) I certainly hope you get to see it one day. It's just a case of "right place, right time" methinks - and a certain amount of luck!

John - I was rather pleased with the Heron shot - took a chance and it paid off!

Paul - thank you... lots of the BHs are getting their brown/black heads now.

OC - You're right there :D

Wilma - thank you. Hope your snow soon starts to "run" like water :D

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