Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Black Necked Grebe  

Latin name - Podiceps nigricollis

Slapton Ley is one of the few places in the United Kingdom where you might see this grebe in the United Kingdom. Although rare in the United Kingdom, Black Necked Grebes have a large range, occurring in every continent except Australia and Antarctica. In the United Kingdom there are only 40 to 60 breeding pairs plus approximately 120 birds over wintering. These photographs were taken on the lower Ley at Slapton on the 13th July 2008. The bird is in his summer plumage with a black head, black neck, chestnut flanks and a fan of golden cheek feathers behind the eyes. In winter the bird is much duller; whitish with a poorly defined black cap and grey back. The bright red eye is present in both its plumages. It is an excellent diver feeding on small fish, crustacean as well as insects. It nests near the water's edge and obviously therefore favours well vegetated areas of freshwater to be able to conceal its nest. Usually two eggs are laid, and the striped young are often carried on the adult's back to protect them from predators such as Pike. Play Video.

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