Great-crested Grebe nest sailing
I was down at Kemerton Lake Nature Reserve the other day during a gale when I noticed that a Great-crested Grebe's nest floating across the lake, accompanied by the two adults. A branch supporting the nest (left of nest in pictures) had broken free and the whole thing had set off across the lake. It got about two thirds of the way across when the branch caught in some Potamogeton or other floating plant that stopped its progress. The nest was accompanied all the way by both birds - she tried several times to get onto the nest but it was no longer supported by the branch and partially sank so she had to get off. He swam around, sometimes alert, at other times preening or occasionally diving. It was a pathetic sight and I wished that I could have seen the outcome. They had less than 100m to go to reach the reeds where maybe they could have done some repairs. I guess that the outcome was disastrous but I will try to locate the nest at a later date. (written 26th May 2011).
Fig. 1. Great-crested Grebe nest sailing before the wind with pair in attendance. Picture ©John Clarke