This time last year, the large lake near my home had five great crested grebes on it. Four formed pairs, one of which successfully raised young. A smaller local lake had one pair on it, which also raised young. The same was true for most of the lakes I could reach in a hour’s drive from my home.
This year, my local lake has one solitary, despondent grebe. The smaller lake has none. I’ve walked five local lakes, and there isn’t a singe great crested grebe to be seen. Great crested grebes are one of the joys of spring, with their elaborate displays of devotion to each other. This year feels empty. Where have all the grebes gone?