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LITTLE GREBE / DABCHICK : Tachybaptus ruficollis

They can be seen on open water within West Dunbartonshire. But you have to be quick to see them. They are the smallest of our diving birds and with often only a few moments on the surface, will be gone again leaving only a ring to mark the spot. For this reason they can be hard to photograph. 

Little grebes feed on small fish and aquatic invertebrates. They nest on floating platforms made up of waterweed. 

It is a small, brown colour, with a fluffy, round-looking bottom. As it matures it develops a bright chestnut throat and cheeks during the breeding season. It can be a noisy bird, making a distinctive whinnying trill.

While they will be about somewhere in West Dunbartonshire all year, they seem to relocate their fishing waters seasonally, perhaps due to competition from other waterbirdss or weather conditions. A apir was seen on Carman Reservoir in October and another abover the Leven Barrage in November.

This one was seen on the Carman Reservoir in October, happily diving and bobbing up again. Note that its bill is pale yellow. This indicates that while it is fully grown, it is still immature.

RSPB : : https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/little-grebe

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/birds/grebes-and-divers/little-grebe

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