Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Waiting for Grebe

Some time last week I was scanning Lake Barrine with a pair of binoculars and muttering to myself, when someone said, 'Excuse me. Are you a bird watcher?'

I admitted that I was.

'What are you looking at?'

That was a good question. Apart from a pair of Pacific black ducks that were paddling around the tour boat, hoping for a piece of scone, the lake surface appeared lifeless.

'Great crested grebes,' I said. 'There's a big flock of them on the other side.'

I handed the binoculars to her and pointed at the spot, about 800 metres away.

'There,' I said. 'Can you see them?'


She passed the binoculars back to me. I peered through them.

'Oh. They've dived. Hang on. They're back up.'

'I can't see them,' she said.

'No. They've gone under again.'

And so it went, for about fifteen minutes: the binoculars passed back and forth and the dialogue repeated with variations. A Beckett play for bird watchers.

I went back today. This time with a camera.

A watery Sahara
Not a dicky bird
Wait. What's this?
Goodness gracious! Great crested grebes!
There are 25 great crested grebes in this photo. Trust me.

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