Great crested grebe courtship display, mating and nesting

Written by Ben Vallack on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 07:06PM
Filed in: Webfilm and video production
Tags: wildlife, video, sony, ex3
Comments: 5

As part of my involvment with the WWT wetland nature reserve in London I was lucky enough to film the extrodianry display of these breeding Great Crested Grebes.

It was the first time I've seen this, let alone film it, and was thrilled that the light was so good. It was great to witness the whole sequence of the initial display, followed by the collecting and showing-off of weeds and then nest building and mating. It all took place during a few hours in the morning.

I used the Vinten 3AS tripod, that Vinten have kindly lent me, which is defaintely a big step up from my old head for these kinds of zoom levels.

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Ben Vallack is a web designer and filmmaker and provides high quality services which don't cost the earth. Get in touch with Ben:

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  1. Fantastic footage, well done Ben........I say get a room!!!
    The old walk across the back technique work!

    Written on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 16:17hrs by Paul Maddick

  2. Wow - incredible that you not only witnessed this, but that you also filmed it for the rest of us! Thanks so much & can I ask what month this occurred in, as I'm keen to catch the mating dance myself this year, if possible (I hear it has already begun down my way in Sussex though, which seems pretty early in the year)? Thanks v much & congrats on the footage!

    Written on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 17:32hrs by Kelly

  3. Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for your comments. It was filmed quite close to when I posted this article, a few days before I think. So early April.

    Best of luck!

    Written on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 17:56hrs by Ben Vallack

  4. Hi Ben,

    Exellent videos! i wanted to ask what lens you used with the ex3 to get this footage. Also what do you think of the Sony EX3 as a camera for filming wildlife.


    Written on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 3:39hrs by Yusuf Akhtar

  5. We saw the full mating ritual, but not the nest building and actual mating, about 4 weeks ago (today 3rd April 2012) on the lakes at Painshill Park near Cobham, Surrey. It was what we like to call a "nature moment" but this was a real "David Attenborough moment" - a full five star event!! We were standing near the edge of the lake and just idly watching the birds, when these two started their "beaking" and "necking" etc - right through to the rushing towards each other with their beaks full of dead leaves from the lake bottom! Fantastic! And how lovely to see it re-enacted in your film - brilliant. We had never seen great crested grebes before, let alone their elaborate rituals, so had to look it up in our bird book!

    Written on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 9:28hrs by Angela Emuss