Little Grebes or Dabchicks have been spotted during March on Craiglockhart Pond. They are, as the name suggests, the smallest members of the grebe family and are widely distributed across Europe, Africa and Asia. About the size of a moorhen, they have a sharper beak and a ‘fluffy’ rear end. In the summer, they have chestnut throat and head patches. They make shallow dives in search of insects, larvae, freshwater shrimps (there are lots of these in Craiglockhart Pond) and small fish. They are shy and quickly dive when disturbed which explains why they are not often seen. However they are quite noisy birds – listen for a distinctive whinnying trill.
Our birds may be spring migrants or visitors from other ponds like Blackford or Duddingston. They might choose to settle down and become residents – we hope they do.
Thanks to birder Dave Houston for alerting us to our little grebes and for forwarding photos. Keep your eyes peeled for our grebes and for any other interesting birds, animal, insects, butterflies or flowers.
Thanks to Dave Houston for the pictures.