Interludes: Grebe Fishing

We had, on the opportunity of lunch with friends, taken a trip to the Jawbone Coastal Park.
There are two pairs of Great Crested Grebe in residence and they have just completed a nesting cycle so the chance to see them with the young was too good to pass up.

However the Grebes had other ideas and they had the young on the far side of a pond, and just that little too far, without some serious bushcraft, swimming or canoeing.

However one of the pair, I assume the male made a foray to “our” side of the pond and put up a pretty good show of fishing techniques

And here it is as a gallery.

Postcards: Jawbone Morning


I showed some Swan Moments from our Jawbone trip last week, and now its the turn of the Great Crested Grebe and friends.
We lucked out a little with one of the Great Crested Grebe as it was feeding around the close edges of the lake by the housing estate and moved out into more open water later.  The second one, seemed to like the far, far, far side of the ponds and we only managed the most fleeting of glimpses.

Still there was plenty of other action—including the Swans— to fill up a memory card.


I’d not noted before how low it is in the water when at work.

Grey Teal

Blue-billed Duck (M)

Young Silver Gull waiting expentantly and noisily

Pied Stilt

Little Black Cormorant

Blue-billed Duck (F)

A quick shake to put the feathers back after a preen

Wing stretch

The simplicity of ripples

The legs are far at the back of the body enable them to get a real speed up

Postcards: Swaning About (as you do)

My WordPress friend, Ashley, over at Aussiebirder has written a post on “Mindfulness” while bird watching. Resonates quite well I thought with my meanderings on having a love for the bird and the craft.Sometimes we are in such a hurry, or obsessed, to find the next bird, that we overlook the around.

EE, Mr An Onymous and I had gone down to the Jawbone Conservation Reserve to look for, among other things, Great Crested Grebe. And as the day progressed we found both the birds that are down there. Jawbone also has quite a resident collection of Black Swans. One of the main reasons—not being a Swan, how would I know— seems to be that the arm of the sheltered Jawbone pond(s) offers a quiet resting place, perhaps out of the wind.

So while we looked for the best places to photograph said Grebe, the Swans kept us amused by their fluting calls, their preening antics and their airborne mastery and of course their barefoot waterskiing championships.

When I opened up the files in Lightroom (hah!, had to get the plug in, that’s plug in, not plugin), I was just a wee bit excited to find how many interesting moments of these birds that I’d managed during the morning and I wasn’t even trying.  I feel a photobook coming on.

Here are some to set the scene and get you into the ‘moment’.


Heading in from a great height

Synchronised style

Formation landing team

Neck outstretched for aerodynamics

Casually dipping the wing into the water

On touchdown

How easy is barefoot skiing

Splash down and time to fold the wings up

Trimming up for landing

Powering down the waterway

Feather Details

The shape that sings a melody.

Pied Cormorant Call of the Season

We had truth be told, taken a trip down to the Jawbone Conservation Park at Williamstown.  One of my Flickr mates  David Nice, had reported a Great Crested Grebe.  As the ponds can give good access to the birds in quite a few places, it seemed like a good idea to have a looksee.

On our day, however, the Great Crested Grebes (there are two there), must have been hunting out in the open water, as not a crest nor a feather were to be found.

As the Jawbone lakes are quiet water, the water birds use the area as a resting spot, and also to get to know one another it seems.

We watched for 15 to 20 minutes a pair of Pied Cormorant that had more than fishing on their mind.


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