Western Grebes, and More Western Grebes

After seeing so many Snowy Owls so close, I figured my trip to Tokeland was going to be little more than an afterthought. However, I haven’t seen the Godwits for quite a while and, creature of habit that I am, I decided the trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Tokeland. As it turned out, there wasn’t a single Godwit to be seen. In fact, there weren’t many birds out in the harbor at all, perhaps because of the dredging that was going on.

I hadn’t driven all that way, though, not to see anything. So, I went over by the boat docks where I spotted a small flock of Western Grebes. I took a few shots at a distance, thinking that they would certainly fly off as I walked closer. They didn’t. I thought I’d gotten close to them in New Mexico, but not nearly as close as I did this day.

Western Grebe

I was amazed that they seem totally indifferent to me and went about catching

Grebe peering into water

shrimp at a rather fast pace.

Grebe with shrimp

Although it was perfectly clear that they very aware of me,and at times stared right at me,

Grebe staring into camera

they came so close that they could’ve taken a fish or shrimp right out of my hand. In fact, they came so close that I nearly fell off the dock backing up trying to keep this one in frame.

Western Grebe Bill

Observing and photographing them up close was definitely the highlight of the day. I’m not sure I will ever need to take another picture of a Western Grebe. Unless, of course, I can find a pair doing a mating dance, something I’ve yet to see except on film.

4 thoughts on “Western Grebes, and More Western Grebes”

  1. Fantastic photos! I’ve seen lot of these guys kayaking around Tomales Bay, etc. But never so close! Are their eyes really as red as your pictures show them? So bright!

    Thanks for the work you do!

    1. These pictures are pretty much straight out of the camera, Dan. I’m always amazed when I look into their eyes, they look like bright red disks.

  2. We have grebe here too Loren and last year at Leighton Moss – a bird reserve on Morecambe Bay – I watched a mating dance. All I can say is that is was exquisite.

  3. I’m hoping to see that this Spring when I go back to Malheur to bird.

    I was enthralled when I saw it the first time in a Television show.

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