The Grebe Chicks Have Hatched!
I went to Killingworth Lake this morning to take a long-exposure photo of the lake for today's Wide Wednesday challenge of "smooth", hosted by Bobsblips. I spent some time working on this, doing a series of panorama shots for later stitching, with each exposure timed at 20 seconds (using a neutral density filter). However just after taking those shots I noticed that the Crested Grebe couple, whose courtship ritual we witnessed (and blipped) at the end of February, are now the proud parents of 3 little chicks. So apologies to Bob, my Widwed photo has now been relegated to the "extra" today.
The chicks looked very new, and I ended up chatting to a lady who'd been watching them with binoculars: she told me that the parents were still at the nest yesterday, so it seems this was the very first outing for the chicks. Mother Grebe had them safely snuggled under her wings so that most of the time only their heads were showing - sometimes they were complete hidden, sometime one, two or three heads popped out.
Dad kept swimming away and coming back with a fish and tried to feed the chicks, not realising that the fish he brought were far too big for the tiny chicks to eat! (I wonder if he's a first-time Dad!). So in the end he ate one or two fish himself - I didn't see him give any to the mother though ;-((
I'm still busy working through the (far-too-many) photos which I took but here's one for starters anyway. As prompted by 60plus, I'll also tag this for Wildwed hosted by Cailleach (why didn't I think of that?!).