Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three humbugs: an update

OK, it wasn't so very long ago I posted this photo of three young Great Crested Grebes just offshore from the Watersports car-park at Ferry Meadows, CP, Peterborough. Well, the three are still around, though much larger and still being fed by their parents. What I hadn't realised when I took this shot was that the bird on the left is much paler than the other two. Now they are larger, the bird's pallidity is obvious in the field, and it clearly is a bit leucistic, or has some form or schizochroism which has made it sepia-toned rather than black and white. Last Friday, I noticed that this pale individual was not being fed by its parent nearby, who was feeding one its begging, normally coloured siblings. Indeed, it was even being rather viciously pecked as it approached its parent. I feared for its survival. However, it is Wednesday, today, and it seems to be thriving and growing, along with the other two. So, perhaps the apparent persecution was a temporary blip, and the little pale grebe will make it. It would be interesting to see what it looks like when fully feathered. I don't remember seeing a Great Crested Grebe with aberrant plumage coloration previously.

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