When spring arrives everything changes and much of it we notice but some things go unnoticed perhaps. We hear the birds starting to sing again, we see insects on the wing, we see the green shoots on the tress and hedgerows, and we see the colour of the early flowers. But, do we notice that birds are getting their breeding plumage?
In a lot of species the change is negligible of course, one does not notice the more vibrant colours in the greenfinch and the chaffinch but you can hardly miss the wonderful head dress that the great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) develops. The great crested grebe is a pretty special bird at any time in my book but this splendid plumage linked with their delightful 'water dance' and breeding display make them a species to be looked out for.
Not overly common in Dorset in spring and summer as we perhaps lack large expanses of fresh water but they are to be seen and they do nest here. In winter they are far more common being just as at home on the sea as on lakes and estuaries.