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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Riverside Park Red-necked Grebe- a caution

Everybody who has chased the Barrow's Goldeneye to date seems to have gotten it- which is great news and not at all a sure bet for March Barrow's in this state. The Red-necked Grebe at Riverside Park has been considerably tougher, though many are reporting it. This difficulty in finding the bird was further confounded today by the presence of an impostor Horned Grebe at the south boat launch.

The impostor looks very much like a Red-necked Grebe: but it is a transitional Horned Grebe with an unusually pronounced gray cheek patch and a slight reddish on the neck side, etc. At first myself and several others were convinced it was going to be the Red-necked, but inspection proved its bill lacked yellow, had the pale whitish tip, and was too small/short for Red-necked (no photos, sorry!). This bird was only about 300 yds north of the south boat launch from at least 8AM to 10AM. The real Red-necked was actually seen this morning at the same time at a different location (by Josh Kamp and Randy Vandermolen): at the middle boat launch (closed to car access) nearly 1 mile north of the south boat launch. Here is a map of these locations for clarification:Both Josh and Randy walked from the south lot all the way to the middle launch to see it, and it was tucked up under the far riverbank and not easy to see. At this location the bird is not visible even with scopes from the south lot. This bird has a long, yellow bill and lacks the obvious white coloration seen on the impostor. The best photos of the actual Red-necked I have seen are here .

Anyway, something to be cautious about should you chase the Red-necked!

1 comment:

Phil said...

Caleb et al,
I was looking at the Red-necked Grebe a little further around the bend to the north, yesterday morning (~7:35-7:40) (about half-way to the north lot), when I saw Robert Epstein's post about the Barrow's & sprinted most of the way back down to the south lot. Noticeable was large size, gray cheeks, and yellow bill.