Slavonian grebe on the menu
Slavonian grebe, aka Horned grebe, was why the alarm went off at 3 am on Sunday morning.
I had spoken with Frode Wendelbo and Kenny Isaksson during the week about travelling to Skövde to do some Slavonian grebe photography. That meant we had to keep a close eye on the weather forecast and decide upon which day we should make the try.
Things didn´t work out as planned which meant I travelled there on Sunday morning while both Frode and Kenny stayed the night in Skövde.
I don´t have a lot of trouble getting out of the bed early and I now have a habit of eating breakfast in the car, which is particularly nice when you travel towards the sunrise having the pleasure watching the warm colors filling the sky during the trip.
I arrived at the famous Slavonian grebe lake at 5 am. I grabbed my camera bag and went the short walk to the jetty where I could see both Frode and Kenny.
I had heard that the Slavonian grebe had a nest just by the jetty and that was surely true as the nest was just 20-30 centimeters from the jetty. I find this odd, but in a way I also understand it as it is a way of keeping the normal predators at bay.
Instead it means that the nest get lot of human attention. Good or bad? I am not sure.
It made me sad to see seven people, both locals and from abroad, flocked around the nest taking pictures for a prolonged time without leaving the birds at peace. I know that the Slavonian grebe has chosen the nest site, but I can´t understand this behavior from people that I presume are nature lovers.
I have seen a similar type of behavior before and that was when twitchers entered private gardens in Gothenburg because of a rare bird visiting during wintertime. Please use common sense and always think of the animals best, don´t chase the picture or the sighting. Respect nature and in particular a nest site.
Still I had time to enjoy the time there and I got a good sense of what I could do without disturbing the nesting Slavonian Grebe.
If you know Slavonian grebe photography you probably have the classic picture of a Slavonian grebe on still water with a perfect reflection. I think I have seen enough of them and I wanted to produce something else, not just the classic.
I tried to mainly work with the bird in habitat, but also record the different behavior that I saw during the morning like preening, calling, food delivery, etc. I think I managed well and I particularly like this picture.
You get a good feeling for the habitat and I like the pose of the bird. It almost looks as it is curious in a way. This photo speaks to me in a way that the classic one doesn´t, but you will of course find a classic or two in the gallery below.
All in all a good photo day, even if the morning left a bitter taste due to people not respecting nesting birds.