Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Memory Grebes

Black-necked Grebes used to be a feature of spring in the York area, with a small colony breeding in the Lower Derwent Valley, back in the '90s. With a management regime altered to protect the rare floodplain meadow grassland, water levels ebb naturally. This this has reduced the suitability for nesting Black-headed Gulls, which often host Black-necked Grebes among their colonies. As a consequence, these days BNGs are rare in the York area, although birds still do turn up occasionally in spring. A little to the west, they have established in the Aire Valley and seem to be doing well. A few weeks ago, a pair turned up locally and provided a hint of colour towards the end of lockdown and helped relive memories of these charismatic small grebes.

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