The eggs, as is generally the case with those of
other members of the Family, are symmetrical in form, there being little
or no difference between the two ends. They have a chalky shell,
which from being at first of a pure white are soon stained by the damp
weeds forming the nest, some of which are carefully drawn over it by the
parent whenever it is left, and even if the mother Dabchick is too suddenly
disturbed to make this possible, she will stealthily return at the first
opportunity and cover them.
Few birds have a greater faculty of escaping observation
than the Dabchick, and it often happens that a pair will frequent a small
weedy pond, close to a human habitation, and rear their young there, without
their existence being detected, though they stay for the whole of the summer.
In winter the greater part emigrate, and those that remain move themselves
to rivers, brooks, and ditches near the sea, which except in very hard
frost are free from ice - using, as a last resort, the tidal waters.