One of the most elaborate courting rituals your are likely to see this Spring is that of the Great Crested Grebe. First described in 1912 the spectacular display is played out across the waterways every spring. The grebes both sporting black and orange facial ruffs and black ear tufts will warily approach each other before starting to flick their heads from side to side.
This may continue for a few minutes before they both dive down and re-emerge with beaks full of pond weed. They will then rise up from the water paddling furiously to maintain the height out of the water.
Watching them it’s hard to comprehend the stamina needed to keep them chest to chest and extended above the surface.
Once down to about 30 pairs in the UK they were brought to the brink of extinction for their feathers which were used to line hats and muffs. Now though through protection and conservation they are now numerous and can be found on almost any body of water.