Danish word of the day: lappedykker = grebe
Have you missed the “FOCUS” series?
What, you had forgotten about that too? 😀
Ok, that’s normal, it’s been a long time, I didn’t write such an article since July. The first one was about one the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen (no, I’m not exaggerating), the Horned grebe (Podiceps auritus).
Today, I’m writing about another grebe, one that’s not as gorgeous as the Horned grebe, but in my opinion, it comes really close.
The Red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena) is a migratory bird found all around the world, in the northern hemisphere. In Europe, Denmark in more or less on the western edge of its breeding range, although it can roam as far as Spain during winter. I had never seen it before, but I saw pictures appear on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and I finally spotted one in Flyvestation Værløse.
On the trip back to Gilleleje, I was told that Vestamager was a very good place for this bird. Curious, I went to this lovely area again, and it didn’t fail: I saw many Red-necked grebes. Thanks for the tip!
I biked there again a week later, determined not to go back home without acceptable pictures. Like the time before, I saw two birds in the pools down the buildings, in the very north of the area. I spent two hours there, shooting 250 pictures of one bird.
The best moment was when it came 2 or 3 meters away from the shore, and started to fish. When it dived, I would rush a few meters ahead, to be close to where it would surface. There, I would swiftly lie down and wait a few seconds, camera at the ready. When the grebe appeared, click click click until it dived again. Then repeat from point 1 🙂
I had a lot of fun. I even managed to capture it while it struggled to swallow a fish.
It’s funny to see how different languages have named this grebe: English and Spanish agree, it has a red neck. French thinks the grey cheeks are more important, while Danish focuses on the grey throat. Finnish calls it the oxbird, but it has a nickname in Danish meaning pigbird (grisefugl), a reference to its not-very-graceful sound (thanks Hanna for the info).