Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 43 - Grebes

I think many non-birders mistake grebes for some form of duck - thats if they notice them at all!

I tend to think of them as rather secretive birds and while they go briefly mad during the courtship season they do seem to spend a lot of time either underwater or hiding!  This makes them all the more fun to watch and somewhat frustrating to photograph.

The Australasian Gebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) is a common little grebe here.  Its a little grebe in terms of its size, not not in terms of being the Little Grebe  (T. rurficollis) - aka The Dabchick - that I used to watch in the UK.



This bird is in the breeding plumage -  or whats left of it - after the Australia summer.


And this bird is a well grown chick.  You can see still see that distinctive black and white patterning on the young bird.


A grebe that I watched as a kid and can still watch in Australia is the Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus).  This is a bird that seems to have made being "distant" into an art form!  They are often well out of range for close observation, but their distinct shape makes identification straight forward here. 

So, I was pleased to find one (just about) in range on my trip to Perth.  These images are a little more cropped than I would like - but beggars cant be choosers!



The chaos of redecorating has declined enough to let me sit at my desk again - all I need now is to put all the pictures back up on the walls.  But enough of this!  Now its your turn to join in with WBW.

Click on the link below, and off you go.  Remember to visit, comment and invite - the more the merrier!

SM





47 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

your australian grebe is a bit like our little pied-billed, although yours has more color. so cute!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful birds.

Brian King said...

I like the soft tones and it looks similar to ours. The markings on the chick are very cool! I've never seen a juvenile grebe. Nice shots!

Modesto Viegas said...

Very good series!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

What beautiful coloring on these and they are so sweet.

EG CameraGirl said...

I enjoy seeing and photographing grebes here. It looks like yours are characters much as they are in Canada!

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Yes I enjoy seeing the Grebes you have there. We have then here but they sure like to hide on me. I like the colors on yours. I have not been able to get a good shot of ours, will have to go out and look now! cheers.

Karen said...

Interesting aquatic birds aren't they! Great shots, I love the third one with the reflection!

Andrea said...

I love the little Grebes ... they look like little wind-up toys scooting along the water and then ... gone. Only to appear in another place still looking cute. I agree that they are very shy. They are harder to get good pictures of both because they are small and they refuse to come close enough to get a clear shot. That said ... you did and your pictures are awesome. The Great Crested Grebe is beautiful and his coloring very subtle. Love it Stewart. We get a Pied Billed Grebe on our lake once in awhile and a few years back we had a little group of Horned Grebe on the lake ... they are very colorful. Like you I had to crop out the picture until it wasn't clear in order to identify them. It was still a treat to see them though. Have a wonderful week in your newly redecorated room :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Flat Creek Farm said...

The Grebes are lovely, and one can't help but admire that Great Crested! Congrats on surviving the redecorating process, and have a wonderful week! -Tammy

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love grebes!!! They're so fascinating. And some of the eyes, being red really makes me in awe. I've had red eyes before but it's not natural like the grebes. After I sober up they're back to blue eyes. rofl

Good luck in hanging pictures up on the wall. That's a task.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love grebes!!! They're so fascinating. And some of the eyes, being red really makes me in awe. I've had red eyes before but it's not natural like the grebes. After I sober up they're back to blue eyes. rofl

Good luck in hanging pictures up on the wall. That's a task.

HansHB said...

Great photos, I do love
these cute birds!
Well done!

prairiebirder said...

Great photos, Stewart! I love grebes!

Karen said...

I probably would think they were some sort of duck, very informative post and lovely pics.

DIMI said...

Hallo Stewart!Grebes are so beautiful birds!Great shots!
Have a lovely day!
Dimi..

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, they are all cute Grebes. Something about them that I just love. The black/white chick, reminds me of a zebra. Great collection of birds and photos!

Neil said...

Grebes are not that easy to get good photos of. Great series.

Carole M. said...

aren't they wonderful little grebes; I haven't gotten to see them yet for myself

Al said...

What a cute little non-duck! Nice photos.

Shirley said...

You sure did get great shots. I know I would be one to call this beauty a duck..being a city girl is my poor excuse..but, I'm learning! Great photo's..

Kerri said...

WOW - these are magnificent!!

Esther Joy said...

The more I think about the name for your blog "Paying Ready Attention", the more it makes sense. It really does take a lot of attention to get good bird shots! ...And it's so helpful to see all the work featured on your link-up!

Thank you!

Becky said...

I love Grebes, and these are so cute. Awesome shots Stewart, AND SO CLEAR!

Fergiemoto said...

Thank you for introducing me to this lovely grebe!

Arija said...

I suppose I am just solo lucky to have resident Australasian Grebes all year round on one or other of my farm dams. At the moment they are in their winter plumage. Hard to tell them from the Little Grebe though when, as you say, they stay at a fair distance although the chicks swam over to investigate me on the edge of the dam once.

Faye said...

Love the images of the "waves" they make as they plough through the water. Thanks for that distinction between a duck and grebe, Stewart. This novice tends to call all of them ducks. I'll pay attention in the future and see if can tell the difference.

Pieni Lintu said...

Great shots all! :)

Digi-Irma said...

Hello Stewart, great series of little grebe.
Best wishes, Irma

TheChieftess said...

Love those chicks!!!

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Very sweet and lovely captures Stewart...

Pete Shanley said...

Great shots. It was Australasian grebe that first had me interested in birding. Those ducklings I saw on my daily walk that never grew!

Terri said...

Nice captures!

Ken Schneider said...

Nice grebe shots and information. Just yesterday I was frustrated when a grebe (Pied-billed) dove just as I was about to take its picture. It surfaced on the far side of the lake, quite an amazing distance away, without taking a breath.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

That great-crested grebe is really something! I did not realize grebes were diving birds; I am in the camp that thought they were ducks. I've only seen the pied-billed grebes here. They are very skittish around humans, so all the shots I got were also heavily cropped. I enjoyed learning more about them, so thanks for all the info and wonderful photo tour!

Sharon Wagner said...

Grebes do like the center of the lake. And I usually don't have my binoculars or a camera. It was fun to see all the different kinds in Australia.

Barb said...

I love this site but don't get round to visiting too often which is silly really! Great shots this week, Stuart.

FjÀllripan said...

GREAT serie of these beautiful birds!! :)

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful shots. We have several different Grebes here the most common all black. But when in breeding plumage they can be quite colorful. MB

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful shots, Stewart! I like the markings on the youngster.

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful shot of the Grebes.

Chris Rohrer said...

NOw that's one cool grebe...although they are all cool. I like them when they are chicks. They look like zebra birds:)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I enjoyed seeing these Grebes Stewart and my fave are the youngsters, how sweet, and so beautiful their feather pattern too. Happy week~

Wally Jones said...

I totally empathize with you about how frustrating it can be to photograph grebes!
But it IS great fun to watch them!

Super photos, Stewart, and a very interesting post!

-Have a good weekend settling back in to your office space.
--Wally

pattisjarrett said...

Your Great Crested Grebe is an unusual-looking bird. How different the patterning/color is on the young grebe compared to the adult.

CabinGirl said...

Nice photos of fascinating birds, Stewart! So sad to have missed another WBW, but enjoying everyone else's posts. Thanks for hosting!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful grebe shots! I learned about grebes when we wintered in Texas and a friendly expert explained that they weren't ducks! Now that I know what they are, I have seen and identified them in Oregon.