Water mirror

This time of year
we see them pairing up
elaborately dancing, bowing
up and down,
circling round and round
and water mirrored
among the reeds, they will build
a flimsy nest,
barely over water setting
their offspring up
for drowning,
but if it happens we will see
the crested grebes
dancing, bowing
on the water-mirror
for yet another turn.

Skäggdopping, Podiceps cristatus. Foto: Bengt Nyman/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Today Kim hosts dVerse with a prompt where we should focus on a creature building its home. The great crested grebe only nests here and they usually arrive early which means that they start nesting already. We saw the first pair during a weekend walk.

May 2, 2023

18 responses to “Water mirror

  1. I did stipulate no birds or there’d be lots of nests, Björn, but I’ll let you off this time as your poem is so lovely and I really like grebes – Norfolk is known for them and one of the local pubs is called The Grebe. I love the way you captured their movement and the way they are ‘water mirrored among the reeds’.

  2. What a beautiful bird. Learning where you are is their only nesting ground and how flimsy their nests are, I fear for their continued survival.

    • Their beauty was their problem, they were almost extinct at one point because their heads were used in women’s hats. The drowning is part of their natural survival, the reason for their nesting out in water is to protect themselves from foxes etc.

      • That breaks my heart to know why. We used to have a giant wooded dune where passenger pigeons nested, called Pigeon Hill. The sand mining companies literally extracted the entire dune, nothing is is left of it, and now the passenger pigeons are extinct 😦

  3. Or perhaps you’ll see that the flimsy nest can withstand far more than anticipated? Lovely poem, I especially like the mirroring of words.

  4. setting their offspring
    up for drowning,

    They make them learn fast. Would love to see the dancing and pairing off rituals. Wonderful write Bjorn!


  5. Oh, this is beautiful, Bjorn. Hubby and I saw a breed of ducks doing this at our local bird preserve, dozens of them swirling in paired circles, as if at a dance.

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