Monday, November 21, 2011

Red-necked Grebe

 It was less than two weeks ago that I saw a Red-necked Grebe's silhouette some distance from shore in Harbour Grace.  My experience has been that once I see a bird, I tend to keep seeing the same species over and over. It is funny how that seems to happen.
In a drive-about yesterday, I popped down to the sewer outlet in Torbay.  This is the same area where I saw several White-winged Scoter just a few weeks back.  The area always seems to have a small flock of sea gulls, Black Ducks and Mallards. Yesterday, the usual group was joined by two winter plumage Black Guillemot, one female White-winged Scoter and this Red-necked Grebe.
When I first saw it, I thought it was a loon but it just didn't look right for a loon. I kept looking at it through my binoculars and it began to move closer to shore.  It's neck was too long for a loon and then I saw the yellow bill. This couldn't be a loon.
I stayed in my car next to the guard rail and watched and waited. Experience has taught me that once a sea bird sees a person it will either dive or slowly and steadily move farther from shore or both, dive and come up farther from shore.
This bird didn't seem to be feeding so I figured it would vanish very quickly if I tried to get closer. I took a moment to look in my field guide to make an ID on the bird and when I looked up I couldn't see it any more. I watched and watched and it popped back up to the surface but it was definitely farther away. It would come and go like the tide. This may well have been the best opportunity that I will have to get a really good look at a Red-necked Grebe. I enjoyed it to the fullest.

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