Great Crested Grebe at Cheddar Reservoir

Because of the heavy and continuous rain we didn’t take our dogs up onto the peak this morning, deciding instead to walk them at Cheddar reservoir in the afternoon when the rain had cleared. Fortunately I took the camera and a telephoto lens; never, never, ever leave your camera at home. The reservoir is home to a healthy population of these delightfully elegant waterbirds. Sadly, as with the Little Egrets, they were hunted for their feathers (and ornate head plumes), leading to their virtual extermination in the UK in the 19th century. What we didn’t realise was how ambitious they could be when it came to prey fish. This one has an immature pike in its beak. They dive to feed and also to escape, preferring this to flying. But this one has chosen to paddle madly to avoid having its prize stolen by another Grebe. The 4th, 5th, 10th and 11th images show just how determined the would-be thief was to steal the pike.

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Author: Hares on the Hill

I am a designer and photographer. I live with my wife and our two dogs in the Welsh Marches, a land full of history, legends, mountains, rivers and dragon's breath; a place where animism thrives. To our north are the Cambrian Mountains, the Elenydd, a vast plateau so ancient that its mountains now have the appearance of steeply rounded moorland hills; to the east is England; to the south stand the Black Mountains and in the west the Brecon Beacons rise around the twin summits of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, the highest mountain in West Wales.

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