Aspen Grebe - More Photos
I have just checked George Vlahakis's photo site and see that he has
posted three photos of the Lake Aspen grebe. Again, I have no prior
Clark's Grebe sightings. I sit here with my Yakima County life list
spread out in front of me. Pencil in hand, I await ID confirmation from
the list's knowledgeable birders to chime in with opinions. I think both
Denny and Kerry favor Clark's from their posts.
George's photos show marks that I believe support Clark's but they
also hint at a thicker dark band down the back of the bird's neck than
field guides illustrate. One of George's shots does show the bird's
upper wings...perhaps it was preparing to fly or maybe just rearing up.
The secondaries and most of the primaries show a lot of white at the
ends...perhaps another plus for Clark's.
Sibley mentions "Intermediate birds, seen regularly, especially during
winter, are unidentifiable. Some may be hybrids."
So, here I remain...pencil ready to strike life list. Experts, do the
photos rule out Western? I'm finding it hard to eat with a pencil
frozen in my right hand. Must I brush my teeth with my left hand
and spend a restless night etching graffiti on my bedding?
George's photos are at:
************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi Yakkers,
Here are the reasons I think the Lake Aspen grebe is a Clark's Grebe:
1) The billis quite yellow/orange. Here is a link to a great photo
of a Western Grebe:
Note the yellow/green bill. Totally different than the Lake Aspen grebe.
2) George's third photo of the grebe shows a more extensive white
wing stripe than a Western Grebe would have. The new edition of the
National Geographic field guide mentions this.
3) There is a little more white on the flanks than a Western Grebe
would show. This bird has a little less than many Clark's Grebes but
is still more white than a Western.
4) The dark around the eye is much less than a Western Grebe would
have in any plummage.
I think the dark band on the neck is quite subjective. We would need
photos of both species to make a determination of the Lake Aspen
grebe's neck band being narrower or wider than a Western's.
I have sent an e-mail to Steve Mlodinow for his opinion. I will
forward to his reply when it comes.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Denny Granstrand *
* Yakima, WA *
* dgranstrand@... *
* Denny's bird photos can be seen online at: *