- Mar 13, 2010
- South Brent, south Devon (UK)
- Real Name
Just what is this apparently soggy mess of weeds floating in the water
Move those weeds to the side and these 3 eggs are revealed. A Great Crested Grebe, having been disturbed from incubating its eggs has had time to cover them before swimming off to a safe distance
Here are the two grebes at the nest, one incubating the clutch and the off duty bird resting alongside the nest
The off duty bird is now trying to attract the attention of the one incubating the eggs. Despite lunging at it with its bill, although not making physical contact, it was unable to rouse the incubating bird
So it clambered up onto the nest
Eventually the incubating bird got the message that its partner was willing to take over the incubating duties, so it roused itself and vacated the nest
The bird taking over then turned the egg (or eggs, it's not the same nest as photographed above in close up) and then settled down for its stint of incubating duty
I have studied the breeding of this species at Slapton Ley in south Devon for the last 12 years, hence my user name and my avatar shows a very young bird, less than 7 days old that I managed to pick up out of the water having been left behind by an adult. The young are normally carried on the adults back for the first 2 weeks of their lives. After hastily photographing it I returned it to the water near the adult and they were quickly reunited.
This event occurred some 3 or 4 years ago and I can reassure everyone that this young guy and its 2 siblings fledged successfully.
The nest is, like the classical iceberg mostly underwater and is a floating structure anchored in the reed stems.
The first 2 photographs were using a Panasonic G1 and micro Nikkor 55mm, f/2.8, the rest with a Panasonic G1 and Olympus 50-200mm, f/2.8-3.5 zoom