Grebes and Hardheads

Subject: Grebes and Hardheads
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:00:52 +1100
Banyule Flats Swamp (Heidelberg, Vic.)is at present quite deep. It is frequented by cormorants, European Coots and assorted ducks, chiefly Hardheads, which feed by diving. On Sunday afternoon I noticed two Hoary-headed Grebes swimming separately at the north end of the swamp. Each seemed to be following a Hardhead. As the Hardhead surfaced, a grebe swam up to it, taking a position by the duck's flank, then as the Hardhead dived again, the grebe also dived. They tended to come up separately, but each time the grebe rejoined the Hardhead and dived with it.

Presumably the grebe was snapping up aquatic insects and small waterlife disturbed by the Hardhead as it hunted food; in other words it was using the Hardhead as a beater.

Australasian Grebes were also present but showed no interest in the Hardheads.

Anthea Fleming

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