Friday, 18 October 2013

The Great-crested Grebe.

Great Crested Grebes
Great-crested Grebe Astland Photography 

On Tuesday I saw a Great-crested Grebe (GCG) floating downstream on the River Lune on the ebbing tide at Glasson Dock. This bird reminded me that I had been thinking recently how long it has been since I last saw a GCG. The LDBWS Annual Report for 2012 and two other annual reports I've been reading all refer to the GCG in similar words as 'a scarce resident breeder and common winter visitor'. I've seen one of the breeding pairs this year with two young from the Public Hide at Leighton Moss, but wintering GCG according to my records and void of searching others, are becoming less common and I'm not seeing them where I used to regularly.

Oakes made little reference to the winter distribution of the GCG, but it was clear by the 1960's that large numbers were sometimes present throughout the Lancashire coast, the species benefited from the creation of reservoirs and gravel pits in the 20th century. But by the mid 1800's GCG were persecuted for their plumage in the millinery trade and for making feathered muffs, the population plummeted to an estimated 42 pairs nationally. In 1962 an amazing count of 500 individuals was made on one day in November off Morecambe. Historically Morecambe/Heysham have held nationally important numbers, in 2003 an estimate of British wintering GCG stood at almost 16,000 birds, nothing like that figure today and with a decline to some degree.

And here's another member of the same family....

Black-necked Grebe
Black-necked Grebe David Cookson 

A Black-necked Grebe, not quite as smart as the adult above, this was a juvenile which I found on the excellent Conder Pool on 1 September 2008, the bird stayed on the pool until last seen 17 days later on 18 September.

And finally, not a member of the same family, but couldn't resist it....

Collared Pratincole. Gyorgy Szimuly.

A brilliant image of the Collared Pratincole near breeding grounds in Romania May 2006 and featured on the front cover of the latest bulletin I recieved from International Wader Study Group 


Adam said...

great birds

ray said...

I saw it too !It had just gone past the pylons. Ray

ray said...
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Pete Woodruff said...
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