|Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
(aka Slovenian Grebe)
|Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland
The Horned Grebe breeds mainly in the sub-arctic, boreal zone in Europe, across Siberia and in North America. A few breed in Britain and Loch Ruthven near Inverness is a key site.
|It moves to the coast or further south in the winter by which time its spectacular breeding plumage has disappeared and we are left with the winter plumage that you see in these photos.
The second photo shows a Horned Grebe beside a female Goldeneye which shows the relative size of the grebe at between 31 and 38 cms (12" to 15")
|In winter it can be confused with Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis but note the white cheek, the sloping rather than steep forehead, the pale tip to the bill and the flat as opposed to peaked crown which can be seen in the third photo.
It feeds on insects and larvae as well as fish.
|When diving for fish it usually glides into the water, as can be seen in the 4th photo, rather than springing clear and diving with a splash|