Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Searching for great crested grebes...

Great crested grebes 'traditionally' perform their courtship dances in February, spring seems to be slightly early this year and I did see two great crested grebes 'practising' their dance at Cramond a couple of weeks back. So, we decided to go to Linlithgow Loch today, because it is acknowledged to be the best place to see the great crested grebes dancing in the Edinburgh area:

However, we saw only one great crested grebe on the whole loch! Maybe we should have waited a week or two. Last year, we visited Linlithgow Loch right at the beginning of March and saw the full dances. It might have helped that that day was beautifully sunny, while today was dull and damp, not the best time to be dancing perhaps.

We did however see a lot of birds, including this cute coot, just starting to build a nest in a fallen tree:

and this coot, that seemed to be thinking of nesting just by the path

Plus plenty of other birds including pochard, little grebe, tufted ducks, cormorants, moorhens, mallards and a grey heron.

And it's always pleasant to walk round Linlithgow Loch, with its views of Linlithgow Palace

Annoyingly, both my pairs of binoculars broke today, really bad timing considering I'm starting another series of birdwatching classes on Monday (and the class is fully booked, so if you're thinking of turning up on the day without booking, you won't have a place!).

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more. 





11 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

the coots are very cute, too.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Juliet,
Always enjoy your birding posts. At your recommendation, am reading A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. I can't put it down!

Crafty Green Poet said...

TexwisGirl - they are, aren't they?!

Maureen - thanks, and glad you're enjoying A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

Optimistic Existentialist said...

They are so adorable!! I have never seen any before.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Have a good time with the classes! Lots of birds coming along now I bet!

eileeninmd said...

I love the coots! Beautiful shot of the palace.. Sorry your timing was off.Have a great day!

A Cuban In London said...

I love those coots, too. I'd never heard of this dance before. Animal choreography, huh? :-)

Greetings from London.

Caroline Gill said...

So sorry about the binoculars, but delighted to hear your courses are fully booked. Sorry there weren't more Grebes ... but Linlithgow is such a beautiful setting, and I love the Coots!

mike40ugs said...

I have been visiting Linlithgow loch for the last few years to see the grebe dances. Last year, March 9th to 14th were good. This year, it looked likely to be earlier but saw none on March 2nd. Then a friend emailed they were there later that day. I went back March 4th and it was all happening.

mike40ugs said...

Is there a way to post a (compressed) jpg photo?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Mike, thanks for that, should definitely stick to early march rather than late Feb.

As to posting photos in comments, I''ve no idea if you can do that, sorry.....

If you've got a Flickr account or similar though, you could leave a link ....