Good grebe, it’s lovebirds Will and Kate

William and Kate
William and Kate

CROWDS are flocking to see spectacular lovebirds named William and Kate in honour of the up-coming Royal Wedding.

The first pair of great crested grebes to mate at Saltholme wildlife reserve, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, have been performing flamboyant courtship displays.

Staff say the head bowing, dancing and gift swapping by the couple has been so impressive that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be hard pressed to match such pomp and ceremony on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, in London.

Dave Braithwaite, manager of the site, in Tees Road, said: “With the Royal Wedding just around the corner, we just had to name this magnificent pair William and Kate.

“We’re thrilled that up to 12 pairs of great crested grebes breed at Saltholme each year. Their courtship dance really is something to behold and rivals any courtly display of affection in the human world.

“Anyone wanting to get in the mood for the Royal Wedding should visit Saltholme to see how our William and Kate are setting the wedding day scene.”

Staff, volunteers and visitors are now following the happy couple’s progress as they build a floating nest ready to raise a family.

The great crested grebes’ mating ritual, includes performing a dance where they present pond weed to each other before paddling furiously.