Hours Spent with Kingfisher and Great-crested Grebes

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
It seems I have become slightly obsessed with Great-crested Grebes, I just can't stop taking photos of them. I'm not sure if it is just because there is a pair in such a great location that the light makes them stand out and they are close enough to always grab great shots or if it is because they are such interesting little birds (especially at this time of year) but yet again there are a large number of photos in this posting.

Today it wasn't just lone grebe photos that I was taking as I was privileged enough to witness not only the dancing head movements but also weed passing and their dance up on their tales, as well as watching them construct their nest and mate, it was an honour to see such displays (I was enjoying the display so much I missed the photo op of the dance and weed pass!). But here are a few shots of the pair in action (literally in one case!).

Great-crested Grebe Neck Dance - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe Neck Dance - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe Nest Building - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe Nest Building - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe Copulation! Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe Copulation! Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
I would like to point out, I did not disturb the birds they are happy with people presence, the lake is often full of people fishing and I was sat on one of their platforms to take these shots. And these solo shots that follow.

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe (odd angle) - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe shaking off water- Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe shaking off water- Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
While watching the grebes I also had the opportunity to photograph a couple of other birds a nicly posed Wood Pigeon and a Eurasian Coot.

Colourful looking Wood Pigeon - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Colourful looking Wood Pigeon - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Reflected Eurasian Coot - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Reflected Eurasian Coot - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Swimming Eurasian Coot - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Swimming Eurasian Coot - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
After spending quite a while with the great-crested grebes (and a fair bit with a stunning summer plumage Little Grebe that remained hidden in the reeds the whole time), I was in a dilemma did I carry on through the patch or head home (I worked a night shift last night and the cloud was building) but I always worry if I go home I will miss the big one! So I carried on.

As always I checked out the Buzzard field (and sure enough there was one there, still no pheasant!), I'm hoping one day I will get a decent photo of this Buzzard but alas today was not the day, I did manage a quick photo of a Magpie in flight and a Green Woodpecker (poor photo but it is just to rub it in to my friend and rival on the patch Simon).

Green Woodpecker - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Green Woodpecker - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Magpie in Flight- Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Magpie in Flight- Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
I quickly continued on, and after brief chat with an old chap asking me all about the birds, I spotted a Kingfisher flit off down the river (it always happens when you are talking!), I decided to follow and see if I could find him, when I discovered not one but 3 Kingfisher squabbling deep in the bushes, they continued their chase quite away down the river remaining vocal the entire way, but were quite tricky to photograph, in fact I took one good shot of a lone male in the bushes.

Male (I think) Common Kingfisher, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
I then spent around an hour hoping one of the pair that remained would pop out and let me get a decent photo but alas the rain set in and the only image of any worth was a shot of the pair of them with their backs to me, I say pair but I think they are both female, looking at the picture

Two female Common Kingfisher - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Two female Common Kingfisher - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
The rain fully set in, I was wet and the birds did not want to come out of their dark recess (there is nothing as frustrating as being able to hear and see a bird but knowing you have no hope of getting a photo, so I left them two it and headed home, snapping only a couple of extra images on the way.

Grey Heron - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Grey Heron - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Canada Goose - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Canada Goose - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes


Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can. I apologise for any issues with posting comments, but sometimes Google's blogger platform plays up.

Please support the Suki Woodland Memorial Trust

CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what an amazing day out. I'd love to spot a Woodpecker in the wild (on my bucket list of animals to spot). Superb photo's as well. You're obviously used to getting your eye in! A pleasure to find you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, I've been a birdwatcher my entire life (my dad was my mentor so to speak and he runs the worlds largest birdwatching resource http://www.fatbirder.com so was always likely)

      Delete

Back
to top