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Slavonian Grebe, Rhyl, 21/11/2018

Some birds look just as good in winter as they do in summer and the Slavonian Grebe is one of them. Their yellow 'horns' and rusty red and black plumage in summer changes to black and white in winter with just a punch of colour from the base of the red bill and eye. So when news emerged that one was 'showing well' at Rhyl Brickfield Pond I decided to make a visit to see the bird. It was not difficult to find, it was next to the path preening when I arrived, so I was quickly able to get a few pictures before it started fishing.

It was very successful at fishing whilst I was there, it quickly caught 6 little fish in the space of ten minutes (putting the nearby fishermen to shame!). This is usually a bird that is found around the coast of North Wales, so it is unusual for one to be on a small inland pond (albeit not too far from the coast).

There was very little light at all when I arrived, so whilst it meant using a higher ISO on the camera it did mean the grey cast on the water complemented the birds winter plumage, something that would not have happened if the sun had come out.

Hopefully it will stay long enough for people to see it, it may just be me but it always seems like Slavonian Grebes are smiling. I know I certainly was when I was photographing it, a very charismatic little bird.


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