Lake Wanaka’s grebes

For a few years now the grebe, an endangered species, has been in the news regularly making a name for themselves nesting on floating nests tethered to the Wanaka Marina.

The whole wonderful story of what is essentially eco restoration, with a decidedly lateral thinking twist can be had by going to the link below.

Wanaka Grebes

Photographically speaking I’ve not taken much interest, but yesterday while picnicking closer to the lake outlet than to their new near-town chosen breeding area, two birds came quietly paddling towards me, and then in a seemingly courting mood, started mooching about, sometime paddling apart from each other and sometimes coming close.

They seem to be a bit of enigma in many respects, and apparently one [lacking] attribute is they’re not at all at home on land, as seen here: it flapped it’s wings rather feebly and then literally lurched upwards and forward to collapse on a rock for a minute or so. Maybe in the context of courting this has some meaning unknown to us!
Wanaka Grebes

Wanaka Grebes

Read the whole story as outlined by Radio NZ recently:

Meet the Australasian crested grebe, a lake bird that is more closely related to penguins and albatrosses than it is to ducks. It is so aquatic that it can’t walk on land; it can pull itself on and off its nest, but that’s the extent of its terrestrial forays. A bird can disappear from one lake and turn up on another, but no one in New Zealand has ever witnessed it flying. In other words, it’s a bird beset by mysteries. But for the past three years John Darby, a penguin and albatross biologist who retired inland to Wanaka, has been unravelling some of this bird’s secrets.

What began as a..

Source: Lake Wanaka’s grebes | Our Changing World | Radio New Zealand