Saturday, 2 May 2015

Venus Pool - *** Black-necked Grebe pair ***

It wasn't the earliest of starts and hopes of a wader / fly through tern were ultimately destined to be dashed. Apartt from my close encounter with a Common Sand, nothing was happening, I started a scour of the margins from the main hide.....

A flash of orange under a willow at the southern end stopped me in my tracks and a closer look revealed it was something rather special - clearly grebes and with a sense of building excitement, I watched them move out into the water by the dam. OMG - 2 Black-necked Grebes in summer plumage!!!

I legged it down to the Memorial hide for a closer look......


Eventually, out in open water but always quite distant, a few half decent record shots were forthcoming!




They motored up the the pool at one stage, becoming lost in the willow island - and spent two periods of 30-40 mins hidden from view! Nervous moments for local patch watchers now arrived but eventually they came back into the open!


Clearly a pair now that they could be seen a bit better and showing signs of affection with some courtship display and the male carrying small fish as offerings....



I think she was interested :-)


Here's the male - well what can you say, simply stunning!


 The female was noticeably smaller in stature, less brightly coloured and with white on the breast.



And don't they just make a lovely couple? This was the closest they came mid-morning.....


engaging in a very brief 'mirror dance'....


And whilst it's only a record shot, I'll settle for this shot!!


I might knock the quality of birding at VP from time to time but not today! The best thing about patch birding is you never quite know what you might find.......

They were still present at dusk but departed overnight!

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