Annmarie came along on an Urban Wildlife photo workshop in July and captured these wonderful pics of a great crested grebe family! Having added some summer workshop dates to make up for spring's lockdown restrictions, it was a rare treat to find this family group. We often see the grebes' impressive courtship dance in winter, but only once have I seen the delightful chicks, riding on their parents' backs. For Annmarie, it was a magical first encounter...
"Of all the wildlife to photograph in Regents Park on my nature workshop with Paul, the great crested grebes were at the top of my wishlist - and I was delighted that we found a pair on the lake with their two chicks."
"At first there was just one grebe swimming on the lake. Paul encouraged me to shoot at a very low level for a more intimate image, and at different angles to take advantage of the reflecting greenery in the lake. I followed the grebe as it dived, tracking it with my camera's AI Servo AF mode, to capture its lovely splash."
"It remained underwater for ages; then Paul saw that it had joined its partner, with the chicks on its back."
"The grebes moved out to the centre of the lake where they performed a mini ritual dance, facing each other and showing off. The chicks were then unceremoniously tossed into the water and made to swim a little before climbing back on."
"The father went in search of floating feathers and glided back elegantly to offer them to the chicks. They are well camouflaged and look ever so cute in their black-and-white stripes."
"It was a privilege to see this in the centre of London, and I am thrilled with my photos that I took with Paul. I had a much closer view of the grebes than I had at nature reserves outside of London. Now that I know where they are, I will try to return in the next week to record the chicks' development. I sincerely hope their nest has survived the recent thundery downpours!"
True to her word, Annmarie went back to the park and captured these lovely scenes of the now much larger chicks among the water dapple and reflections of yellow wildflowers.
If you feel inspired by these pictures, check out dates for the next URBAN WILDLIFE PHOTO WORKSHOP.