Young grebe snorkeling

The grebe family I mentioned on Monday is already progressing. The three new chicks are off Mum’s back, physically if not metaphorically! The result of this is that the older chick is now fending for himself, as you can see in this little video clip. He was so oblivious that he swam up within a foot of me.

You may want to keep the volume low as there was a coot chick next to me calling at a very high pitch and high volume. Ear-piercing.

The behaviour here is one he’d have seen from his parents a lot, and it’s called ‘snorkelling’. The grebe is just keeping an eye out for fish and will dive at any opportunity. Given some of his splashier moments, he may not have quite mastered it yet. He has, since hatching, been one of the splashiest and least competent swimmers I’ve seen for a waterbird. But he’ll learn, and our grebe family seem to have raised at least one chick successfully.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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