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Witness the Grebe's on Clear Lake at Lakeport County Park, Thanks to Kate.

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  • Ruth Wiebe.... v24
    Thanks to Kate s and Google Maps directions to Lakeport County Park and near-by coves my husband and I enjoyed a canoe trip Mother s Day mid-afternoon. It was
    Message 1 of 2 , May 18 6:49 PM
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      Thanks to Kate's' and Google Maps directions to Lakeport County Park and
      near-by coves my husband and I enjoyed a canoe trip Mother's Day
      mid-afternoon. It was "Wake" day on the lake. (A term we coined many years
      ago for the numerous boaters, skiers and jet skiers that make so may
      "wakes", usually much worse on Saturday and even worse on Sunday.) We
      paddled quietly along the shore line cameras in hand just waiting for the
      awesome sights of rushing Grebe's. We weren't disappointed. One could hear
      the distinctive sound of pattering feet indicating that another pair was
      "running on water" and it was impossible for me to keep from turning toward
      the spectacular sights. There were many Grebe's, both Western Grebe's and
      Clark's Grebe's in mixed flocks both species displaying their stuff. Dave
      was worried I would upset the canoe with my spinning body; he said he didn't
      mind the swim but hated to lose all that camera gear. As the sun was
      lowering in the sky the flocks appeared to be napping so we proclaimed our
      addiction to the "Rush of the Grebe's". It was hard to paddle back the
      distance we had strayed but worth every stroke. Spring time birding was
      almost deafening as we glided through the reeds. My arms ached not sure
      which was more difficult, the paddling or holding my camera with the shutter
      locked in gear, or attempting in vain to do both at the same time, but the
      efforts produced prize winning photo's.



      When we first arrived at the Lake County Park we drove around the houses
      near by looking at all the diverse styles of homes but all with one common
      goal: Water Front Property. We observed a vacant lot between two houses at
      the end of one fingered inlet and could see the Grebes along with other
      ducks close to the shore. We returned to this same location after our canoe
      trip to see eat our lunch that we'd been to busy shooting pictures to eat
      while on the water. From this location we observed one pair of Western
      Grebe's with 4 babies. The hours slipped by as we took hundreds of pictures
      and witnessed them fishing and feeding their young. We also observed a
      Clark's Grebe's pair that was always close to the Western Grebe Family and
      sometimes too close for comfort. We did notice that several times while the
      babies were cruising on their parents back the free parent would chase the
      others for a few seconds and then return quickly to its duty of fishing. The
      Clark's motives were in question: Was it to grab fish lost in the transfer
      of feeding young? To harm the young themselves? Or what? We saw no
      aggressive behavior in either scenario. There were several occasions where
      the babies were in the water swimming right next to the Clarks Grebe and
      there was no apparent aggressive behavior witnessed. Fish were plentiful in
      this location and all they needed to do was stick their heads in the water
      and up came fish in their mouth. Often the little ones would appear to peck
      at the fish in its parent's mouth; however we did observe one small baby
      swallow one fish whole. It was quit a spectacle: the fish was almost as big
      as the chick and it took some time for it to accomplish its goal. We could
      see the fish tail sticking out of its mouth for quite a while. The little
      one's neck was in this elongated stretched out position for a long time.



      Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brandt's Cormorants, a
      Mallard pair with 12 ducklings in tow, many and 1 lone American Coot filled
      my view finder as we impatiently waited for the next Rushing Sequence. Barn
      Swallows and American Crows were numerous along the fields near the entrance
      to the park. I know the area was full of other species but my "birding by
      ear" needs more refined tuning.



      Thank you Kate for providing this information and hope others take the
      opportunity to witness this special show. You can see the Grebe's without
      boating: Off of Soda Bay Road turn on Park Drive onto St. Frances Street,
      the next to the last lot on the street is vacant with several boats parked
      there. From this location you can see the water and Grebe's. This is to the
      west of the Park Entrance. Google Maps directions:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1985%20Park%20Drive%20Kelseyville%20CA%2095451
      This is where we saw the family with babies.



      Ruth Wiebe

      Albion Field Station



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kate Marianchild
      Thanks, Ruth. Wonderful write-up. I just want to say that I went to Lakeside County Park (on some maps just called Lakeside Park), not Lakeport County Park.
      Message 2 of 2 , May 19 11:51 AM
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        Thanks, Ruth. Wonderful write-up.

        I just want to say that I went to Lakeside County Park (on some maps
        just called Lakeside Park), not Lakeport County Park. There is a county
        or city park in Lakeport, and I don't know how the grebing is around
        there, but I suspect it would be quite a distance to get to sizable
        stands of tules.

        The park Ruth and Dave and I went to is off of Soda Bay Road on the way
        to Kelseyville.

        And yes, if you possibly can go on a weekday to avoid the motor boats.
        Also, if you take anyone prone to motion sickness make sure they put
        their binoculars down when wakes or wind waves come along.

        Kate


        On May 18, 2006, at 6:49 PM, Ruth Wiebe.... v24 wrote:

        > Thanks to Kate's' and Google Maps directions to Lakeport County Park
        > and
        > near-by coves my husband and I enjoyed a canoe trip Mother's Day
        > mid-afternoon. It was "Wake" day on the lake. (A term we coined many
        > years
        > ago for the numerous boaters, skiers and jet skiers that make so may
        > "wakes", usually much worse on Saturday and even worse on Sunday.) We
        > paddled quietly along the shore line cameras in hand just waiting for
        > the
        > awesome sights of rushing Grebe's. We weren't disappointed. One could
        > hear
        > the distinctive sound of pattering feet indicating that another pair
        > was
        > "running on water" and it was impossible for me to keep from turning
        > toward
        > the spectacular sights.  There were many Grebe's, both Western
        > Grebe's and
        > Clark's Grebe's in mixed flocks both species displaying their stuff.
        > Dave
        > was worried I would upset the canoe with my spinning body; he said he
        > didn't
        > mind the swim but hated to lose all that camera gear.  As the sun was
        > lowering in the sky the flocks appeared to be napping so we
        > proclaimed our
        > addiction to the "Rush of the Grebe's". It was hard to paddle back the
        > distance we had strayed but worth every stroke. Spring time birding
        > was
        > almost deafening as we glided through the reeds. My arms ached not
        > sure
        > which was more difficult, the paddling or holding my camera with the
        > shutter
        > locked in gear, or attempting in vain to do both at the same time,
        > but the
        > efforts produced prize winning photo's.
        >
        >
        >
        > When we first arrived at the Lake County Park we drove around the
        > houses
        > near by looking at all the diverse styles of homes but all with one
        > common
        > goal: Water Front Property. We observed a vacant lot between two
        > houses at
        > the end of one fingered inlet and could see the Grebes along with
        > other
        > ducks close to the shore. We returned to this same location after our
        > canoe
        > trip to see eat our lunch that we'd been to busy shooting pictures to
        > eat
        > while on the water. From this location we observed one pair of Western
        > Grebe's with 4 babies. The hours slipped by as we took hundreds of
        > pictures
        > and witnessed them fishing and feeding their young. We also observed a
        > Clark's Grebe's pair that was always close to the Western Grebe
        > Family and
        > sometimes too close for comfort. We did notice that several times
        > while the
        > babies were cruising on their parents back the free parent would
        > chase the
        > others for a few seconds and then return quickly to its duty of
        > fishing. The
        > Clark's motives were in question: Was it to grab fish lost in the
        > transfer
        > of feeding young? To harm the young themselves? Or what? We saw no
        > aggressive behavior in either scenario. There were several occasions
        > where
        > the babies were in the water swimming right next to the Clarks Grebe
        > and
        > there was no apparent aggressive behavior witnessed. Fish were
        > plentiful in
        > this location and all they needed to do was stick their heads in the
        > water
        > and up came fish in their mouth. Often the little ones would appear
        > to peck
        > at the fish in its parent's mouth; however we did observe one small
        > baby
        > swallow one fish whole. It was quit a spectacle: the fish was almost
        > as big
        > as the chick and it took some time for it to accomplish its goal. We
        > could
        > see the fish tail sticking out of its mouth for quite a while. The
        > little
        > one's neck was in this elongated stretched out position for a long
        > time.
        >
        >
        >
        > Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brandt's
        > Cormorants, a
        > Mallard pair with 12 ducklings in tow, many and 1 lone American Coot
        > filled
        > my view finder as we impatiently waited for the next Rushing
        > Sequence. Barn
        > Swallows and American Crows were numerous along the fields near the
        > entrance
        > to the park.  I know the area was full of other species but my
        > "birding by
        > ear" needs more refined tuning.
        >
        >
        >
        > Thank you Kate for providing this information and hope others take the
        > opportunity to witness this special show.  You can see the Grebe's
        > without
        > boating: Off of Soda Bay Road turn on Park Drive onto St. Frances
        > Street,
        > the next to the last lot on the street is vacant with several boats
        > parked
        > there. From this location you can see the water and Grebe's. This is
        > to the
        > west of the Park Entrance. Google Maps directions:
        > http://maps.google.com/maps?
        > q=1985%20Park%20Drive%20Kelseyville%20CA%2095451
        > This is where we saw the family with babies.
        >
        >
        >
        > Ruth Wiebe
        >
        > Albion Field Station
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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