At Ballona Lagoon yesterday, I saw a Least Grebe. Yes, I know it is not an expected bird in so Cal as first saw it in TX many years ago and further south where a bit more common! It was swimming in a small patch of shady open water on the north side near a larger Coot. What caught my attention was this small quite dark bird with a yellow eye and a small all blackish pointed bill making the head seemed more rounded than a Pie-billed. The bird was all quite dark/blackish with extensive brown in the flanks/side area.
I had decided not to continue w/the Mon. Birders (SWBSC) group of 7 as they neared the spot to drop south to circle the main lagoon. I was birding slowly back west toward the cars. As it swam west from a shady open space to the far side of some rushes, 3 other birders coming late approached, however it had disappeared behind the rushes before they got a look just as a larger obvious Pie-billed came in from the east. A boat came through the area from the southeast then parallel to the fence behind the rushes. I hung in this area and another open spot just to the west for around half an hour hoping for another view w/o success. It was located around half way on the north side in a somewhat open spot where part of the topmost boards had been replaced. Also look for a small patch of open water on the left back w/more open water further back & east, w/rushes from the near middle going right.