Grebes are not easy to photograph – well, that’s my experience, anyway. They are either too far away way out in the middle of a body of water, or they dive under the water as soon as you have them in focus.
Oh, the joys of nature photography!
Still, I should be pleased that his Australasian Grebe cruised around on the Murray River at Mannum a few weeks ago long enough for me to get some shots. It wasn’t all that interested in diving and it was close into shore. Sometimes the birds either enjoy being photographed – or the take pity on me!
Mmmm…having a closer look at the photos now I can’t help wondering if I’ve actually taken shots of two different birds. The one above looks different compared with the one below. (My memory is good enough to remember that the two shots below were a few seconds apart; the top photo was taken six minutes earlier according to the digital properties of the photo.)
Sydney Trip June 2011
I written a number of times recently about our trip earlier this year to visit family in Sydney. On our way home we took a little extra time to stop off and do a little birding at key spots, usually lunch times or when we stopped to have a cuppa. Instead of taking only 2 days to come home we took an extra day. I’ll be sharing some of my sightings and photos of the birds seen in the coming days.
On the second day coming home we stopped at Balranald, NSW to have lunch. We drove down to the picnic area on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River (see photo above). One of the birds seen was a solitary Great Crested Grebe, shown in the photo below.
Australasian Grebes are very common on lakes, rivers and wetlands in Australia, as are Hoary Headed Grebes. Great Crested Grebes – in my experience – are nowhere near as common and therefore any sighting is exciting. They are also spectacular birds to see, especially during courtship displays. Sadly, this one was a long way away from my camera, and because I’ve not yet learned to walk on water, the resulting photo is way below my usually high standards. Sigh.
Never mind; one day I will capture a great photo of this great species.
Road trip to Sydney, May 2010
On the first morning of our recent road trip to Sydney we stopped at Lameroo near the eastern border of South Australia, just over an hour’s travel from our home in Murray Bridge. We briefly stopped for morning tea and to change drivers. Our favourite stopping point in this delightful country town is at Lake Roberts on the eastern edge of town. This is an artificial lake and is next to the golf course. The picnic grounds also incorporate a small caravan park.
Over a number of visits here in recent years I have recorded some interesting bird sightings. One can usually record several of the mallee species, such as various honeyeaters. The lake usually contains a reasonable level of water and this attracts a range of water-birds too. On this occasion there was a solitary Australasian Grebe in breeding plumage (photo above).
This species of grebe can be found throughout Australia, including Tasmania, wherever there are suitable conditions. They can be found on small farm dams, small lakes and ponds, larger bodies of fresh water such as wetlands and sometimes on larger reservoirs and rivers. Although this individual was in breeding plumage, I didn’t have the time to investigate if there was a nest nearby. If there was, it was probably located in the reeds at the southern end of the lake.
Species list (each bird listed is linked to another article for further reading):