Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 4 September 2009

You’ll never swallow that!

A day off today, so a chance to catch up on stuff I’ve neglected around the house.

Well, it should have been, but I went out instead.

A trip to a local garage to get a part of the car exhaust, just to make it quieter. It was driving me mad, plus it was in danger of falling off; yes, it was that bad. It’s headed for the great scrap yard in the sky soon, but I’m not quite ready to be without it just yet, so it had to be done.
Job done, I reluctantly parted with some cash, and quietly drove away.

I found myself at Willen Lake; local number two, and slowly made my way towards the hide. The sun was shining for a welcome change, and all thoughts of a lighter pocket temporary disappeared as I settled down to scan the lake with the binoculars.

I was lost in my own thoughts, watching some Lapwing in the distance, when I heard the gravel crunching behind me. I slowly turned, and there was an old gentleman I’d met a couple of times before. He parked his electronic scooter, (he’s disabled), and sat down next to me. We quickly got into conversation about what was about, and what has been about. This bloke is a mine of information, and was offering all manner of facts and tips for identifying all sorts of birds. Tales of birding expeditions when he was younger, proudly showing me some pictures he had on the camera, and general chat about cameras and lenses. A really nice character. We both took a few pictures, and I eventually left, to make my way round the lake. It’s folk like that really give you a lift for the day.

So, there I was, lost in my thoughts again, when I saw a Great Crested Grebe and his two youngsters ahead of me on the lake. And dad had a large fish.

I stopped to take some pictures, as he slowly offered it to one of the youngsters.
‘You’ll never swallow that!’ I thought to myself. I was right, so dad moved over to kid number two,
who hungrily tried to take it from him.

‘You’ll never……....’ and he didn’t. The fish wriggled free, and dropped into the water. Quick as a flash dad dived after it, and soon emerged with his prize once again. Not wanting to go through all this again, dad decided maybe it was too big for them, so he’d better not waste it.
Flicking his head back, he began to show the kids how it’s done.

A bit of a struggle at first,

but once he was in the right position, it soon slid down the long neck.

And then it was gone.

I didn’t think he’d swallow that so easily.


  1. Wow - they are stunning shots Keith

    (and NO, I'm not the least bit jealous - she lied)!!

  2. Nice family moments beautifully captured.Well done and enjoy your weekend.

  3. what a great story. that is (was!) one big for him to swallow - a real believe it or not fishing story

  4. Oh my!! That was probably a great day for you. First to meet a bird mate and then to witness this grebe scenes! The pictures are wonderful, and you got the whole swallowing process! Congrats!

  5. Thanks Tricia.
    lol Right place, right time shots. I got lucky :)

    Thanks Brian. It was a great moment to witness.

    Thanks Ginger. That was one that didn't get away lol

  6. Nor did I but he couldn't waste a good meal could he!

  7. Thanks Chris. A very rewarding day. Days like that you just don't want to end. :)

    Cheers Frank. These chaps and Cormorants make fishing look so easy lol

  8. Amazing shots Keith. Its almost unbelievable what size of fish the GC Grebe can swallow. You would think it would choke them.

  9. Oh wow! these are just brilliant Keith, prize winning stuff! I couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for the poor old fish though, it just thought it had got away and then got grabbed again!

  10. Thanks Roy. I was sure he wouldn't manage it.

    Lenora, thanks.

    ShySongbird, thank you. I think it shows what expert fishermen these are, the way he caught it again so quickly.

  11. Magic. What a superb set of photos, Keith. A real capture of a lifetime there, fish and photo wise. Makes up a bit for the lighter wallet.

  12. Incredible pictures. Hubby must see them, the Grebe is one of his favourite birds. Did the youngsters get anything to eat that day?

  13. Wow! What amazing captures. I can't believe he swallowed that so easily! What a great thing to see!

  14. What a lovely Great Crested Grebe eating his dinner, well I hope it doesn't choke her.

  15. Your documentary is great, Keith :-) It reminds me of snakes, once I saw a snake swallowing a rat or something like that on TV and couldn't believe too that it could have gone through the snake's throat...

  16. Thanks John. Really brightened up the day witnessing that.

    Thanks Valerie. The Grebes are such good parents, that I’m sure they were fed later. I left to feed myself after seeing that lol

    Ashley, thanks. Certainly was great to see it all unfold. I didn’t think he’d swallow it so easily either.

    Thanks Bob. Made short work of it, and he had a sleep after :)

    Thanks Petra. I’ve only been able to see this a couple of times. Amazes me how they manage it.

  17. YOU sure love birds and photograph them WITH ALL YOUR HEART! Lovely set of pictures, thank you for visiting and commenting my postage about the SEA

  18. Thank you Helena for your comment; and following too. Much appreciated.
    Birds were my first love; and still are. :)

  19. Pleasant way to story you have. Meeting a fellow photographer it`t always a joy. And the pictures are simply great. "Big throt" there made quite a show.

  20. Marius, thank you. It was quite an event to witness, and I was lucky enough to capture it all with the camera. Glad you enjoyed it.