GREBE (Podiceps, Temm.), The Lesser, Darchick, or Spider Diver C Colymbus minutu>,Lin.) The weight of this species is from six to seven ounces; the length to the rump, ten inches; the top of the head and upper side of the body, neck, and breast are of a deep brown tinged with red: the belly is ash-coloured, mixed with a silvery white, and some red; the legs, of a dirty green.
They regularly breed in all parts of the kingdom, on still and stagnant waters, whether lakes or slow rivers. The nest is made of a prodigious quantity of weeds, about a foot wide, and very thick, on the water, among flags or other aquatic plants; and, from its weight, often sinks so far into the water that the eggs are wetted. The birds begin to make their nest the latter end of April, and lay generally from four to six eggs of a dirty white colour, and of oblong shape, rather larger than the blackbird. The reason the nest is not oftener found, is, its having the appearance of a heap of weeds on the water, which it always carefully covers when it quits. The birds are very shy, so that it is only with very great caution that they can be seen on the nest; the young follow the mother as soon as they are hatched. Some little time before, and about the time of their beginning to build, they may be seen continually flying short distances along the water, making a shrill chattering noise, as the male is very busy in pursuit of the other sex. When this is heard, you may be sure there is a nest at no great distance. This is the least and most plentiful of six other species of grebe," all of which breed in this country.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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