Thursday, 14 January 2016

Finally, I've Cracked It!

It's taken awhile, and we've covered many alpine lakes and canals in our quest to find a nesting pair of Australasian Crested Grebes/Kamana,  but finally I've cracked it (David wasn't with me when I found the nest). It was an exciting find and with the added bonus of two newly hatched chicks!

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.


Two tiny chicks poke their heads out from under their mother's wing...


...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.





11 comments:

  1. Terrific find! The chicks are so cute! Envy you managed to get so close to them...

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    1. Thanks offstone, not too close as to disturb them though. But close enough for a few good shots although I wish I could have moved a few of the twigs that got in the way.

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  2. You are a star! Such a wonderful thing to see.

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    1. Thanks Lena, I was thrilled to find them.

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  3. Congratulations - bet you are still walking on clouds after this find. We really love seeing your wonderful bird photos.

    Robin and Jenny - Romany Rambler

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    1. Thanks Robin & Jenny, I was pretty chuffed with myself. After so long hunting a natural nest out and then to stumble across it when I least expected it was just fantastic.

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  4. Well done Shellie, I'll bet you were thrilled to catch these.
    Regards
    Lisa

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    1. I sure was Lisa, finally to find a natural nest that had easy access after all the floating raupo rafts hidden in swamps we've thought we've come across in our travels. And with chicks! A real highlight. Thanks.

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  5. Amazing photos Shellie! I will keep you posted. :)

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    1. Thanks Anja, glad you like them, all thanks to you of course, and my detective skills ;)

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    2. Hi Anga, if you check the latest blog (interesting photos too) you'll see I managed to find the grebes again after they had left the nest area- you'll likely see them near you as they were down that end of the lake. Cheers Shellie

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