Grebe chicks ride on their parents back once the family leaves the nest, these chicks are still very young and have only hatched in the last couple of days. There are still two unhatched eggs in the nest which the parents are still incubating.
Somewhere, some place on a South Island alpine lake-
I discovered the nest just as the parents were changing nest sitting duties, the hatched chicks tumbled into the water as the parents bumbled about the nest. They managed to scramble out and back under the new sitting parent. This was when I could see the two unhatched eggs. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera ready; it was still sitting on the front seat of the ute. I really wasn't expecting to find a nest! Click to enlarge the photos.
...waiting for Dad to return with dinner...
First out, first served...
I was surprised how far Dad travelled before returning with food, I watched three returns with food and each trip took around 10-15 minutes. Perhaps it was two fish for him and one for the family.
'We'd he go?'
Dad arrives with another fish, bottom right.
While I was stitting it out, quietly waiting for the Grebe's return, this cute little guy swam right up to my feet; a brand new (you can still see his egg tooth) NZ Scaup duckling. His parents were nowhere to be seen.