Date: 12/25/18 5:47 pm From: Roy Lowe <roy.loweiii...> Subject: [obol] Re: Lake Abert mysterious water birds -- another exercise in dodgy photos
Definitely small grebes and my guess is eared as it appears there is dusky coloration on the front of the necks not all white.
> On Dec 25, 2018, at 1:41 PM, <clearwater...> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Last Tuesday afternoon while traveling between the Summer Lake and Hart Mountain CBCs, Martha and I noticed remarkable numbers of Northern Shovelers (estimated total of at least 3300) massed along the east shore.
> There were also some smaller, whitish birds chugging south against the waves in small groups (at least 130 total). Their necks were jerking back and forth as they swam southward. They weren't feeding or diving, just swimming hard. They looked considerably smaller than the shovelers.
> I was guessing Horned Grebes or Eared Grebes. At the Hart Mountain bunkhouse we discussed them with others and settled on Eared Grebe as the most likely identification. But given the conservation situation for Lake Abert, it seems worthwhile to try to make sure of the identification for these kinds of numbers.
> I've attached a couple of distant blurry photos that were the best we managed to do (no scope and very windy conditions). Please let me know what you think. I have these photos in higher resolution but it doesn't really help.
> There was also a lone male Bufflehead lying on the mudflats near the south end of the lake, looking around alertly but possibly in trouble.
> Joel Geier
> Camp Adair area north of Corvallis