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Posts tagged ‘Western Grebes’

Water Birds on a Frozen Lake, Part 1 of 2

Western Grebes are migrant visitors here and I’ll bet they never expected to find their temporary winter quarters to be frozen!  These Grebes are a type of water bird and are not ducks at all.  They are large and eat small fish, small aquatic animals, and insects.  We have about 1-2″ of ice still on our 101 acre private community lake.  The lake froze over for the second time this winter.  There are a huge number of Ducks, Geese, and assorted other water birds, such as American Coots, Pied-Billed Grebes and the Western Grebes, huddled in a long line just near our marina (the marina is closed for the winter).  The birds are basically just standing or sitting huddled together on top of the frozen lake.  This cluster line of water birds is about a third of a mile away from my home so it is very hard to show in a good photograph.  I am including one shot taken with my 18mm – 200mm Nikkor lens on my Nikon D300S digital SLR camera.  My long zoom lens is at the Sigma shop being repaired as that lens’ auto-focus does not work properly.  So, a regular type of lens will have to do for another couple of weeks until my zoom returns home.  Anyway, I took these pictures from my back deck on 12/28/10 (Ducks and Grebes) and on 12/29/10 (Coots) rather late in the afternoon.  The American Coot flock had been huddled under my dock and then went for a stroll out onto the ice.  A few decided that walking on ice was “For the birds” and flew the short distance to the main group of birds way out by the marina.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!  P.S. Please forgive the lay-out today.  I sometimes have difficulty properly lining the pictures up when using the photo caption option.  Thanks!

Waterfowl on the ice

Western Grebes

American Coots starting out onto the ice

Western Grebes

American Coots going out onto the ice

White-Tailed Deer, Turkey Vultures, and Western Grebes

White-tailed Deer, Turkey Vultures, and Western Grebes were among the animals and birds that I was watching in the past few days here in my greater community and on the lake where I live.  We have a rather large flock of Vultures that lives in the more undeveloped woodland area of our community here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau.  These big birds roost together in large pine and hemlock trees in a sparsely developed neighborhood that borders a wildlife management area.  I also came upon three Deer when on a drive to that same forested area of the community.  The Western Grebes are a mystery to me.  I think that these water birds are out of place but I do welcome seeing them.  At first, I was confused as to what kind of bird these were.  I wondered if they were a Yellow Billed Loon, or some type of Cormorant.  Upon reading on the Internet, I have come to believe that no, they are not Loons, and they are not Cormorants, and they are not even Clark’s Grebes.  I believe them to be Western Grebes.  The Western Grebe lives in areas in the Western U.S. and generally is seldom seen here in Cumberland County.   I have been happy to see all of these unique animals and birds!  I took all of these pictures on 12/8/10 and 12/9/10.  By the way, I have been trying out a new camera.  I took the pictures of the Vultures with a Panasonic Lumix FZ40 Model point and shoot digital camera with zoom.  That little camera will be my “Keep it in the car” camera for times when I come across animals or memorable sights while out on drives.  A side note, I am seeing several new and different waterbirds here on the lake in the last several days.  I’ll be posting the pictures here soon.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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