turusemaiden's picture

Small diving duck-like bird

Observed: 27th November 2010 By: turusemaiden

Size: About 20cm long, 12cm wide
Markings: Dark brown or black strip from head to tail, dark feathers.
2 seen together, had white/orange beak shaped like a sparrow.
1 seen later on, slightly bigger.
Constantly diving, hence the difficulty in obtaining a decent picture!!! Video taken, on you tube....search for diving duck river medway by turusemaiden

Species interactions

No interactions present.


tootsietim's picture

i've watched the video

But I wouldn't like to catagorically state that it is a Little grebe, something just doesn't feel right about it's behaviour and bill.

Ray Turner's picture

I agree ...

... tootsietim that the Youtube imagery does not suggest Little G, personally it (the youtube bird) seems much more like a juvenile Great Crested Grebe to me. Though I have to say the photo with this observation is pretty dead cert a Little G despite the poor quality of the image.

I suspect the video is of the bird turusemaiden describes as arriving later and being bigger, this then would be consistent with GCB.



DavidHowdon's picture

Two bird theory

The video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T35I-DC5YtM) I would agree does not seem to be Little Grebe although this photo does look like a Little Grebe to me.

RoyW's picture

Video looks like Little Grebe to me.

I see no problem with the bird (or birds?) in the video being a Little Grebe. The typical stumpy bodied, big headed appearance is there, along with the buff flanks and neck, and dark cap (the throat appears white on the bird that surfaces, but that is not outside normal variation).
The apparent long pale bill only seems noticeable on the bird that surfaces to me - and I would argue that it is possible that this is actually a small fish (at one point it appears to flick it's head up as if trying to swallow something).

Ray Turner's picture

I'm not yet ...

... convinced Roy. I do agree it could be a Little Grebe but like others I have some doubt. I've just looked at video again almost frame by frame and it is frustrating because the bird morphs before my eyes :-)

Perhaps turusemaiden could answer a couple of points and settle the issue. Is the image we have here on iSpot a still from the YouTube video? And is/or the bird in the video one of the pair you describe here or of the larger bird that came ‘later on'?



ophrys's picture

I agree with...

...Roy. For me the video shows a Little Grebe; for the reasons given earlier and also because the swift, jerky movements are typical of that species and nothing like how a Great Crested would behave. On jizz, it is a Little Grebe.


My Flickr photos...


turusemaiden's picture


The photo was taken just before the video, so is the same bird as no others were around at the time of 'filming'
This was the 'small' one, seen on 28th Nov also.
The larger one, by the way, had an orange beak whereas the smaller ones had paler beaks. Have looked at the pictures of a little grebe and am quite sure that it was one of those.
Haven't seen one before, so was very interested to find out what it was!
Thank you to all who replied :)

Ray Turner's picture

OK that settles that then;

OK that settles that then; Little Grebe in both :-)