We have as they say, been having a bit of a lean time with our birds of late. Seems the weather, the season, the food, the lack of time in the bush, all have contributed to a fairly, well, lean period.
We were all prepared to enjoy a season with a pair of Jacky Winter, but due to unfortunate circumstances, perhaps bad weather, they lost the clutch a few days from flight. A local Tawny Frogmouth clutch came, and went, and so did the various Magpie-lark families. So its been a bit of a well, you know, lean time.
We have been watching a pair of Australasian Grebes at the Werribee Mansion Ornamental Lake, and they have had as similar story of clutches started, but not completed.
So it was quite intriguing to watch the pair in breeding plumage potter about on the water, but not really get much accomplished.
Then a couple of weeks ago, we found they had begun again to ferry weed and mud about and had a platform securely in the reeds.
And today we took a few minutes to go see how things had progressed and, well, they had progressed.
She was off the nest and swimming about with what seemed to be two young attached to her back. This is pretty exciting to me, as I’ve often seen it but had never really managed to photograph it successfully, so EE and I were very pleased for the birds, and for ourselves.
And as we watched, the two young slipped of her back to swim to Dad who had turned up with a nice big moth for a meal. Then to our surprise a third bird appeared from under her wing feathers.
Three! She has three we both cried.
After a few minutes she stood up in the water, and did a great wing stretch, and like a little cork bobbing up, out popped a fourth!
So our clever little pair have added four young to the Grebe population. I’m hoping that they will go on to fully develop.
We had a fine hour or so with them, and then as the light began to fade behind the clouds, decided it was time for home, but surely we have to make a plan to be back soon.
Enjoy. We did.
And a warning for all to stay away. Even the big Pacific Black Duck who thinks it owns the pond is ready to give way to the little Aussie Battler.