Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jumping to the real deal

I expected to slowly build up to today's post, figuring that I'd have time to show some various Horned Grebes in confusing moult states before showing an Eared. We-ell, I went out South Pier this afternoon when the sun came out to see if there'd be horned's in close sheltering from the wind. There were. I photo'd some for a bit, then scanned a bit farther out, and immediately picked out a different silhouette, an Eared Grebe.
It was way backlit and the above photo is cropped in a fair bit. It was headed in slowly and then a dog walker decided to stop and talk and the birds started swimming back out, away from the Labrador. Oh well.

The backlit semi-overcast created an exposure challenge, but I managed some workable images. This bird is just starting the moult with a little color coming in behind the eye and a couple black facial feathers. About 40% of the birds looked like this.

About 30% of the birds were in the confusing transition with wisps of ochre behind the eye and some patchy black feathers coming into the face.

A few birds had passed the confusing stage but clearly still have a ways to go...

... to get to this bird whose head is pretty close to being in full breeding condition.





2 comments:

Allen Chartier said...

Matt,

Some of these, as the rufous comes in on the neck, can be (and have been) confused by birders with Red-necked Grebe. Congrats on the early Eared Grebe!

Allen Chartier

帳號 said...

廢話不多,祝你順心~^^........................................