Little Grebe (Dabchick) Taken at Rietvlei Dam………

(Tachybaptus ruficollis) The Little Grebe is a small water bird with a pointed bill. The adult is unmistakable in summer, predominantly dark above with its rich, rufous colour neck, cheeks and flanks, and bright yellow gape.

The Little Grebe is an excellent swimmer and diver and pursues its fish and aquatic invertebrate prey underwater. It uses the vegetation skilfully as a hiding place.

Like all grebes, it nests at the water’s edge, since its legs are set very far back and it cannot walk well. Usually four to seven eggs are laid. When the adult bird leaves the nest it usually takes care to cover the eggs with weeds. This makes it less likely to be detected by predators. The young leave the nest and can swim soon after hatching, and chicks are often carried on the backs of the swimming adults.

Rietvlei 7-5-2012 031

Rietvlei 7-5-2012 053











Rietvlei 7-5-2012 056










Taking a bath and flaring the wings.


Rietvlei 7-5-2012 041

Rietvlei 7-5-2012 040

Rietvlei 7-5-2012 038


Rietvlei 7-5-2012 050