Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bird project 21 - Little grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis Little grebe
Location: Middle of north section of Stanley Park lake, Blackpool.
Conditions: Very warm, bright, some light cloud, very light breeze. Mid-afternoon.
Photograph quality: 2-3.

Comments: These birds are resident, albeit in small numbers, in my area, but are rarely found in the park. I heard them calling at Fleetwood Marsh nature park back in the spring, but they never came into view. I also visited Marton Mere a few times, hoping to see them, but never succeeded.

I think part of the problem is, they are much smaller than I realised. I scanned the park lake yesterday, setting up my camera at various points around the shore. Only at the fifth location did I see them - and even then, only after a long time looking. They were right in the middle, seemingly attempting to sleep amid the floating vegetation. Ducks were feeding around them - these are mallards, and make a useful scale comparison. The little grebes are scarcely larger than the ducks' heads!

It's nice to have seen them in their more colourful summer plumage. Sadly, even at the longest focal length I can muster (2800mm), they were small in the frame. So record shots only.