Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Little Grebe Update

I was thrilled to see that the 3 new Little Grebe young at present are alive and kicking and growing stronger by the day :) I spent a few hours observing this little family. From a photography point of view it presented many challenges. The light was terrible mostly, there was a constant stream of people with children and dogs so it was a case of patience! In between distractions I laid down on my tummy amongst the duck droppings and nettles to watch and photograph the grebes at low level. I got really engrossed in the behaviours, the parents were diving every 20 seconds or so and the little ones were calling like crazy each time the adult bobbed back up to the surface with a fish, all fighting to be the one to eat. I also noticed that the adults narrow their bodies a milli-second before diving, making themselves, no doubt, into mini torpedos!! Further interest was provided by the presence of a presumably male Little Grebe intruder on the territory - he was constantly given the elbow should he stray nearer. I witnessed also the interaction of both parents with each other. At one time the mother, along with her chicks, swam over to the father, spoke to him in grebe speak, and went off by herself for a while leaving him with the babies. I reckoned she had said, "Hey I need some "me" time, you are on babysitting duty!!"
I had the family down to about 8 feet in front of me, they came regularly into the shallower areas unless disturbed by other people etc.
One the subject of other people, what struck me most about them, and there were lots on occasions, was that not one of them noticed the Little Grebe family, despite them being close by and so vocal. Their main focus was feeding the Mallards and Mute Swans. It saddens me somewhat that so many people are out of tune with nature, their eyes and ears seem closed to it all, how can they not notice all the little natural miracles surrounding them? Im so pleased Im not one of them! Im sure they all thought I had lost the plot lying in the mud with my camo hoodie on, little did they realise the joy and wonder I had lost myself in!!

Anyway, rant over, here are a few shots I managed, like I said, shame about the light but there are one or two better shots on my photo website

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