Nigricollis is Latin for “black-necked”: niger means “black” and collis means “neck”. This is one of the key distinguishing features of this beautiful grebe, which, when in breeding plumage, has an all black neck and spray of golden plumes on each side of its head. With three subspecies in the world, Southern Africa is blessed with P. n. gurneyi, which is a locally common resident and nomad at lakes, pans and sheltered coastal bays.
I first recorded this cool bird with Gordon Botha at Strandfontein Sewage Works in November 2011. My best experience was seeing a breeding pair mating at Bullfrog Pan in Benoni in March 2014.