From the Field Notes: Grebeing

It’s hard to ignore the call of a warm sunny morning, one with little wind, and the chance of fog on the water.

Conference between, #kneetoo, Mr An Onymous, and I, and the location of choice was Jawbone Reserve and the bird of interest, Great Crested Grebe.

Not that we expected to see the parents doting on the young as they have been out for a couple of weeks, and would be able to fend for themselves.

And the usual spots were the young had been last seen revealed no grebes at all.
So it was a walk about the tracks looking in some of the other ponds, and doing our best not to be an annoyance to, and being run over by, speeding local cyclists.

Then far out on one of the larger ponds, among a gaggle (?) of ducks and assorted coots, Mr A spotted two young grebes, heads all tucked in keeping warm in the sunshine.

We waited and just as well, as not so long after they began their morning duties of cleaning, preening and looking about.  One of the adults was not too far away keeping a ‘weather’ eye on them.

Around a corner paddling remarkably fast came ‘Motor’ Grebe with a big wash ahead of its chest.
It stopped closer to where we were and began to hunt, and quickly showed how adept they had become in just a few weeks.

The other two paddled over to see if they too could get in the action.

Way down the pond, the second adult made an appearance and the two adults swam toward one another, but. That is for another page in the book.

An interesting fact(oid) is the birds were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1800s as the feathers were used for hats (ladies),and the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds was set up to protect them.
Cocker, Mark; Mabey, Richard (2005). Birds Britannica. London: Chatto and Windus. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-7011-6907-7.

Enjoy

 

Much of the baby feather is going and the markings are changing. Not bad for only a month out of the egg.
Adult on alert for its young
Really looking the part
The head feathers are beginning to show the development of that famous Crested headdress
Catch of the Day
Wing stretch of the well developed wings. They usually fly at about 10 weeks from hatching.
Family discussion

 

5 thoughts on “From the Field Notes: Grebeing

  1. Wonderful images and narrative, David! I still haven’t had a chance to get to Jawbone, or anywhere else for that matter! Something about plans, mice and men!
    Enjoy the sunshine for the next couple of days!

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  2. I went there myself this afternoon and saw a couple of younger ones and an adult. They are looking good and you have some excellent images.

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  3. Another great set of annotated images David! Which as always, provides us with such wonderful insight into the lives of these beautiful birds!

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  4. What a great find at the end of the season David. How lovely to see the young and parents, and so beautifully captured. You capture so much detail in your photos, it is stunning.

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