Not Crested and definitely Little, this modest grebe is still good to see down at Gallows Hill and other ponds and lakes around Otley. Even better would be to hear its breeding call, which has been likened to a horse whinnying. Like its fancy Great Crested cousins, the Little Grebe is great at swimming and diving, but not so good at walking, due to its legs being set far back (to aid water movement). It also excels at hiding in vegetation at the water’s edge, and when leaving the nest will cover its eggs with weed to conceal them from predators. The nests themselves are sometimes floating platforms, occasionally anchored by over-hanging branches. A common alternative name is Dabchick, though Shakespeare used the excellent “Dive-dapper”.
Updated: Apr 6, 2021