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Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1014
Moss Landing State Beach, California – November 21, 2011
Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

1004
Moss Landing State Beach, California – November 21, 2011
I took some photos on this date that were definite Western Grebes, but this particular bird was a bit of a mystery. It almost looks like a cross between a Clark’s and a Western, and I guess that is possible. However, after asking several of my bird friends for help, the majority agreed that this is a Clark’s Grebe. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

1003
Moss Landing State Beach – Moss Landing, California – November 21, 2011
I’m including four out of five photos that I took on this occasion. The fifth I will post separately, because I’m thinking it is a Clark’s Grebe or hybrid, though I read the species do not mix-breed a lot. Notice on these birds the eye is well into the black area of the head, the bill is yellowish-green, and there is substantial dark color on the side of the neck. I didn’t include the fifth photo because the bill is bright yellow, the eye is slightly below the black of the head, however, there is substantial dark color on the neck. The Clark’s Grebe has more white on the neck. Western Grebes during non-breeding season can resemble Clark’s as far as the eye/black color placement is concerned. Anyway, I’m going with the more yellow bill and eye placement to separate photo 5 as a Clarks. I will post it right after this one. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

1001
Moss Landing State Beach – Moss Landing, California – November 21, 2011
I believe this is an Eared Grebe rather than a Horned Grebe. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, heavy crop

1000
Moss Landing State Beach – Moss Landing, California – November 21, 2011
Again, a heavily cropped photo. This is a species I see very seldom. This bird was in the channel leading out to the ocean. I was sitting on the rocks taking flight photos of pelicans when this bird swam by. I thought it was a loon at first, but upon closer inspection realized it was a Common Murre – not very common for me. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640 sec

995
Corcoran Lagoon – Santa Cruz, California – November 21, 2011
Corcoran Lagoon lies between our cottage and the library. My wife is an avid reader, so we go to the library often. I always take my camera. There is quite a community of Mallards and Coots that beg for food from library patrons. Here is a couple of beggars, but they didn’t stay on land long when they realized I wasn’t going to feed them. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 70mm, ISO 500, f/4.0, 1/100 sec

991
Moran Lake – Santa Cruz, California – November 19, 2011
This is photo #2 with the new camera. I still don’t know what I’m doing. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 zoom at 300mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/800 sec

980
Moss Landing, California – November 7, 2011
Up in Washington we see a lot of Horned Grebes in the bay out in front of our house. However, Shawn and I are thinking this may be an Eared Grebe. What do you think? The photos are a bit soft, but I like the reflection in the water. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/500 sec, tripod

700
Elkhorn Slough National Wildlife Refuge – California – April 2, 2008
During my visits to this refuge (one of my favorite), I often see Western and Clark’s Grebe. Remember how to tell the difference? The Clark’s Grebe has its eye in the white of the head and the Western Grebe has its eye in the black coloring of the head. You often see these two species in the same location. This bird was quite close to me.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 350, 200 ISO, tripod

685
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
Notice the eye is in the black area of the head. This is an indicator that this bird is a Western Grebe rather than a Clark’s Grebe. In the second photo a Western and Clark’s Grebe are swimming together.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 360mm, f6.0, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

684
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
These three photos show the Clark’s Grebe. Series 685 will show the very similar Western Grebe. One of the easiest ways to distinguish between the two birds is where the eye is located in relation to the black coloring of the head.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f6.3, 1/640 sec, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

641
Port Orchard, Washington – January 13, 2008
This is the non-breeding plummage of this species. Unfortunately, I don’t see the full breeding colors where I live. This particular bird is the most common winter bird at Vaughn Bay. They are always around in great numbers.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 380mm, f6.0, 1/640 sec, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

602
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 21, 2007
We had had excellent luck out at Bar Harbor in the past, so we were hoping for a repeat performance. No such luck this time. This lonely loon chowing down on a crab was the only subject for the day down on the dock.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod

574
Foulweather Bluff, Washington – November 25, 2007
This Belted Kingfisher was fishing in the marsh waters just inland from the waters of Hood’s Canal. He was too far away to use my DSLR, so I pulled out my digiscope. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, 1/140 sec, f5.3, ISO 50

569
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – November 3, 2007
This must be the same grebe I photographed in this same location in October.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod, 1/750 sec, f7.3, ISO 400

561
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – October 21, 2007
This single grebe was located in the pond near the entrance to the dike trail. He was fairly cooperative, but wouldn’t get too close.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, 1/35 sec, f3.9, ISO 50, Manfrotto tripod

536
Moss Landing, California – July 14, 2007
This could very well be one of the same Pied-billed Grebes I saw in this same location during our spring trip to Santa Cruz. Here are a few photos I hope you will enjoy. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

529
Cliff House – San Francisco, California – July 13, 2007
There are mostly Brandt’s Cormorants on this rock, but look for the birds with the white breast. This was a lifer sighting for me. I was quite excited and would not have noticed them if I had not been tipped off by a local birder standing beside me.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

505
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Ridgefield, Washington – June 2, 2007
We enjoyed observing a Pied-billed Grebe with her family. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

502
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Ridgefield, Washington – June 2, 2007
This was the first time I had seen this species. I really wanted a good photo, but the grasses and reeds made it difficult. This bird was constantly on the move, which didn’t help matters. He was just outside the bird blind close to the little coots. Though the 2 photos are not great, they do document my lifer sighting of this bird. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

501
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Ridgefield, Washington – June 2, 2007
Talk about only a face a mother could love! This was very difficult photography due to the many strands of grasses and reeds in the habitat. However, it was great fun to watch the little coots follow their mom around and get fed. These were taken at the blind just off the car trail.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 460mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

419
Vaughn Bay, Washington – April 10, 2007
This photo was shot in low light, but I wanted to try to capture a loon that had changed into breeding colors. Most of the loons had gone by this time. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

416
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
I think this is the last photo I have of a water bird during our spring California trip.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

415
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
These grebes were found in the lagoon just off highway 1 near the entrance to Moss Landing State Park.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

412
Moss Landing State Park – California – April 5, 2007
This Horned Grebe looks like a scruffy teenager. He is in the process of changing into his beautiful breeding colors, but at this stage he looks rather motley. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 450mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

411
Moss Landing Harbor – California – April 5, 2007
This loon was swimming in the channel that leads into the harbor. Notice that the bird is beginning to change into his breeding colors.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

407
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
This set of three photos was taken at the entrance to the harbor. This sighting was a lifer for me.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

400
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
I’ve posted a lot of Clark’s Grebes and Western Grebes taken this trip. Here are two more shots of a Western Grebe.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

399
Moss Landing, California – April 5, 2007
I saw this cute little grebe on April 4 and 5. It just seemed to be hanging out in the lagoon.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82 mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

397
Moss Landing, California – April 4, 2007
I saw this grebe at this location on April 4 and on April 5. One birder told me it was the much regarded Red-necked Grebe. I didn’t get a very close photo, so I didn’t try to solidify an ID until I got a good look at the shot. Now, I see that this bird is a Horned Grebe that is in the beginning stages of changing to its breeding coloring. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, 1/320 sec, Manfrotto tripod

396
Moss Landing, California – April 4, 2007
This bird was hanging around the place where I shot most of my Moss Landing photos. This is such a cute grebe – one of my favorites.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 100 ISO, Manfrotto tripod

389
Moss Landing, California – April 4, 2007
Here is a series of Western Grebe photos.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/250 sec, Manfrotto tripod

368
Capitola Wharf – Capitola, California – April 3, 2007
Here is another two shots of this bird. Photos were taken near the end of the wharf as the birds swam below.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

367
Capitola Wharf – Capitola, California – April 3, 2007
At a glance you may think this bird looks exactly like a bird I posted earlier – the Clark’s Grebe. However, look at the eye position. It is located in the black of the head. The Clark’s Grebe’s eye is just below the black. A subtle difference, but not the only one. The bill is also slightly different. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

364
Seacliff Beach – near Capitola, California – April 3, 2007
Here is another photo of this interesting bird. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

363
Seacliff Beach – near Capitola, California – April 3, 2007
This photo was taken out on the pier next to the cement sunken ship. I saw this species for the first time yesterday out at Natural Bridges.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

347
Natural Bridges – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
This was the first time we had seen this species. This bird and the Western Grebe are very similar. For me, the position of the eye on the head is what helps me distinguish between the two. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

331
near Port Orchard, Washington – March 4, 2007
First, look at the goldeneye. It looks like a female but you can see the white spot developing between eye and bill. Therefore, it is a first year male. My field guides never mention ways to tell the difference between male & female grebes, so I guess you can’t. These two were as cute as can be. I watched them for quite a while. They swam together, dove together, and looked like the odd couple. It was near a small pier and there were no other birds around except for gulls, pigeons and crows. I sometimes see species together – like Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches. However, that’s a rather common sight. I also see different species of ducks or water birds feeding in the same location, but this sight was really different because the birds stayed close together like they were a mated pair or from the same nest.

330
Port Orchard, Washington – March 4, 2007
Here is another photo of the grebe that just has a red line from eye to bill. Notice the white tip of the bill – one of the features that helps to distinguish this bird from the Eared Grebe. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

329
Port Orchard, Washington – March 4, 2007
I found two grebes at a marina that were beginning to show their breeding colors. In the first photo you can see the red line from eye to bill. A second bird is even further molted into breeding color. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

308
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – February 16, 2007
This kingfisher posed for me for quite a while. This is pretty unusual, because this species seems to be constantly on the move.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

307
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – Washington State – February 10, 2007
Horned Grebes are one of the most populous winter birds in Puget Sound. We have 100s in the bay in front of our house. Here at Nisqually I haven’t seen them in great numbers, but you often find a few. Here is one that posed for my digiscope.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

306
Vaughn Bay, Washington – February 16, 2007
This cute little grebe was playing around in front of the house. I grabbed my camera and took a quick shot before he moved on.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

289
Port Orchard, Washington – January 20, 2007
The most common winter bird at Vaughn Bay during the winter and I have to take a photo of one in Port Orchard. What can I say? These little guys are cute! Second photo – The photo shows the reception I get from most water birds.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

282
Port Orchard, Washington – January 15, 2007
I was starting to walk out on a long pier when I heard this noisy little guy fly up on the roof of a building next to the pier. The bird was nice enough to pose for a short time. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

226
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
Here is the second set of 4 Black Guillemots. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

225
Bar Harbor, Maine – December 22, 2006
I kept several photos of this species because we don’t have it on the west coast. We have Pigeon Guillemots, which are very similar, but I just couldn’t pass up taking as many photos as I can of a bird I won’t see very often.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

199
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 29, 2006
There are more Horned Grebes on the bay during Fall and Winter than any other species. Sometimes they come close to shore. They are a diving bird, and spend a lot of time under the water. When they are frightened they submerge and swim a long distance. This bird has found itself a salad to snack on. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

189
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
Common Loon in front of our house. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

137
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
Horned Grebes are everywhere in the Puget Sound region during the winter. This was a very windy day, but it didn’t seem to bother the bird at all. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

135
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
This is the last couple coot pictures for the day. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod
Second photo – I’m guessing this is a juvenile. Its coloring is more slate and it has a slighter build.

134
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
OK. I know this was sort of a COOT day. What can I say. This photo is just a tad blured, but the pose is perfect. I suppose when you have something to say you should just say it! Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

133
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
This is another American Coot – one of many – I saw this day. Notice his bright red eye. This is the kind of red-eye in photography that we don’t want to get rid of! Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

132
Wapato Park – Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2006
This American Coot came up out of the water to look for food. Wapato is a city park, and many people feed bread to the water birds and gulls here. Notice the odd shape of his foot. It is slightly blured because he was taking a step, but you can see well enough to notice this bird’s very odd feet. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

124
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 5, 2006
Belted Kingfishers seem like they are in constant motion. Occasionally, one will perch for a few minutes, but usually too far away for a good photo. This bird landed on a dock cleat in front of one of my neighbors. As is typical this time of year, light was low.
Exposure was 1/40 sec at f/4.7.

108
Vaughn Bay, Washington – September 24, 2006
I believe this is a juvenile bird. During the summer the Pigeon Guillemot is black with white wing spots. During the winter the bird changes color to look similar to this bird. I don’t think the guillemots had changed color by this time.

099
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – October 21, 2006
Belted Kingfishers don’t seem to stay anywhere for long. So, when they find a perch and stay around for a few minutes you get all excited. But, why do they always perch soooo far away. This photo was taken at my equipment’s distance limit, but I think it is a fairly good ID photo.

085-088
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 21, 2006
I guess I went loony for loons. I could only narrow this down to 8 photos.

071
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 13, 2006
We have had quite a few Horned Grebes in Vaughn Bay this Fall. This little guy came in close enough to get a photo. Notice his bright red eye.
This bird looks quite a bit different during its breeding season. He looks rather drab here.

070
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 9, 2006
There is an old floating ski dock out in front of my house. Belted Kingfishers fish out front all the time. Unfortunately, they don’t stay in one place very long, and the dock is not all that close. Despite all that, this photo came out OK.

047
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – September 30, 2006
This isn’t the greatest photo of a Horned Grebe. For one, it has its drab non-breeding plumage. For two, you can’t see the bright red eyes of this bird. But, when you’re birding and taking photos, you take what you can get. I’m sure I’ll get another opportunity in the future to get a better shot.

028
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge – September 23, 2006
This bird was found just off the Twin Barns Loop trail. There were two grebes feeding in the pond. Check out the next photo to see what one of them caught for lunch.