Sunday, February 20, 2011

Australasian Crested Grebes

I wasn't holding too much hope for getting the shots I wanted as I packed up my photography gear, although the thrill of what the weekend had in store made the last couple of hours at work fly by!  Photos or not, I was keen to get away and spend some time with my brother and a mate. There is no room for pessimism when it comes to wildlife photography, but I couldn't help feeling a little pessimistic as the last few attempts at capturing the crested grebes had ended with very little results. A few months ago I had gone up to Lake Lyndon to photograph a grebe's nest with a mate of mine only to find the nest abandoned and a recently devoured adult bird close to the nest. Grebes often bury their eggs with nesting material when leaving the nest unattended and I could see a partly covered egg on the abandoned nest - I hoped that the remaining adult would return to incubate the eggs although this seemed unlikely as the nest remained unattended throughout the day. It was a real shame to see this act of predation on one of New Zealand's rarest waterfowl!

We were treated to a beautiful but short sunrise on the Saturday morning as it soon clouded over and remained overcast for most of the day (which helped diffuse the light nicely). I was surprised to find a nest this late in the season and I was told that it was this pair's second attempt at nesting, as their first clutch hadn't survived. I had a great time photographing the birds diving, nest building, incubating and feeding their new born chick - what an amazing day with these beautiful birds! I was surprised to see the adult birds feeding their young chick feathers which, from what I've read, is thought to be a method of protecting the chick's from gut trauma caused by sharp fish bones. Lets hope that these amazing birds will increase in numbers!


  1. Fantastic wok Jono! where did you take them?

  2. Cheers Courts! These are from good old Alexandrina.