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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 08:46   #1
malgos
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Great Crested Grebes

Sitting in a hide with a camera when nothing is happening gives you time to reflect on all things to do with birding and raises lots of questions. It occured to me I have never seen a Great Crested Grebe in flight, this started a discussion in the hide and noboby I,ve asked as ever seen a G.C.G in flight.
As anyone here seen this and if not why.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 09:31   #2
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I've seen them flying over the sea before. Not very often though.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 11:06   #3
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Hi Malcolm

I've often seen GC Grebe fly. However, this is only when they have been disturbed/in immediate threat. In every occasion the threat was a speedboat or some other powered vessel on the lake or sea. I've noticed they fly very low over the water, a bit like Shag, with quite fast wing beats in a level flight. HOWEVER generally, all grebes, including GC, I noticed, tend to dive themselves out of danger rather than fly - they can dive far quicker than they can take off. Little Grebe, for example, need to run over the water for some distance before becoming airborne and I think Ive only since this once! Some Grebe are also completely flightless during the Autumn moult, when they loose their flight feathers along with everything else, Slavonian Grebe and I think Redneck and Blackneck do this too, but not sure, - a bit like ducks in eclipse - and they are totally useless on land. They more than make up for this by being excellent divers and swimmers which are the strength of the species rather than aerial survival skills.

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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 14:08   #4
Nicky mwangi
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Wink Great crested grebe in Kenya

Quote:
Originally Posted by malgos
Sitting in a hide with a camera when nothing is happening gives you time to reflect on all things to do with birding and raises lots of questions. It occured to me I have never seen a Great Crested Grebe in flight, this started a discussion in the hide and noboby I,ve asked as ever seen a G.C.G in flight.
As anyone here seen this and if not why.
Malcolm
Its intresting to see that you also have the great crested grebes[podiceps cristatus] up there but i wonder if they are the same species with the ones we have in East africa.They are fairly common in this part mainly in higher alkaline and fresh water lakes from 1500-3000m but they are becoming scarse and thestatus shows decline.You would love the hairy head pattern.Hope to get a pics for you.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 14:12   #5
Nicky mwangi
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Wink Great crested grebe in Kenya

Quote:
Originally Posted by malgos
Sitting in a hide with a camera when nothing is happening gives you time to reflect on all things to do with birding and raises lots of questions. It occured to me I have never seen a Great Crested Grebe in flight, this started a discussion in the hide and noboby I,ve asked as ever seen a G.C.G in flight.
As anyone here seen this and if not why.
Malcolm
Its intresting to see that you also have the great crested grebes[podiceps cristatus] up there but i wonder if they are the same species with the ones we have in East africa.They are fairly common in this part mainly in higher alkaline and fresh water lakes from 1500-3000m but they are becoming scarse and thestatus shows decline.You would love the hairy head pattern.Hope to get a pics for you soon.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 14:15   #6
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I agree it isn't something you see too often. I have seen them flying occasionally over the sea, but more often on the main lake at Pugney's when dodging windsurfers, backing up Deborah's point about flying when alarmed. Little Grebes in flight are funny, they really don't seem to be under control.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 14:22   #7
Capercaillie71
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Check these out:

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...27/185281e.jpg

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...28DSCF0147.jpg

I think I've seen GCG in flight (although they're not very common in these parts). I can't recall ever seeing a little grebe in flight though (and I see them more often)

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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 15:46   #8
Pete Mella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky mwangi
Its intresting to see that you also have the great crested grebes[podiceps cristatus] up there but i wonder if they are the same species with the ones we have in East africa.They are fairly common in this part mainly in higher alkaline and fresh water lakes from 1500-3000m but they are becoming scarse and thestatus shows decline.You would love the hairy head pattern.Hope to get a pics for you soon.
According to Wikipedia, the African Great Crested Grebes are the same species, but Africa has its own subspecies P. c. infuscatus. I'd love to see a picture to see how they differ.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 17:55   #9
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Now you mention it, the only time I've seen one fly was last week when one appeared to take umbrage at a cormorant and chased it across a pond. It flew very low to the water and only for a short distance before disappearing into the reeds. It wasn't a particularly graceful flight, but neither was the cormorant's!
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2007, 19:35   #10
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Its the same for me, I very rarely see them fly. I presume it is the same for other Grebes, but would you believe it, the first time I ever saw both Slavonian and Red-necked Grebes, they were in flight (not migrating at sea)!
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