On my Monday trip to Port Orchard I didn’t see a single Horned Grebe. Since I only saw one the week before, I assume they’ve left for their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska, thus ending my year-long attempt to document their transformation from winter colors to full breeding colors.
I first became aware of the dramatic changes last year but made a trip to California before the change in plumage was complete. Our late-winter trip to California this year made it possible to see the final transformation.
It’s still hard for me to believe that a small black and white bird I photographed in January can transform into this: