I was heading out from Island 22 Regional Park on the dyke in the late morning and was just past the gate when I spotted this grebe in the Fraser River. Naturally, I guessed it was a Western Grebe but when I got it in my binoculars, Im sure my eyebrows shot up well above the binocular eye cups. I got out the scope for a closer look which further confirmed my excitement. It was swimming in behind the willows screening my view and I could see a boat coming downstream to possibly scare it away. After rocking the car back and forth a few times until I realized I still had my seatbelt on I hopped out to capture some pictures of what I suspected is a Clark's Grebe. I managed a few before it dove, and reappeared much further away.
Friendly guy! It even waved a lobed (not webbed like a duck!) foot at me.
Lots of white on the face around the eye and on the lores. The bill is nice and yellow but not as yellow as I might have expected. Never mind expectations! A new life bird for me and not one that was included in the casual 'most wanted' list I had considered over breakfast.
I need to muse over my 'most wanteds' more often!!! ;D ;D
I hope it is still around for others to get a look. Sorry it took so long to share.
The Clark's Grebe was seen again today around 9:00. He is just to the right of the boat launch. Watch for a yellow bill instead of an olive colour bill and more white on the head instead of the black. He seems to be actively feeding and there are some Western Grebes in the vacinity as well.
It's an outstanding record for the area as this is the first reported sighting for the area.
Another great find Gord and great pictures of the bird.
Chris, glad you got it!! Congrats on a new bird for you.
Brent, this is the first record that I am aware of. Possibly others in the past were not recorded as Clark's Grebe as they were only split from Western Grebe in the 80's so anything prior would probably be in the books as Western Grebe.
I saw it again today, this time from the dyke just upstream from the gate. If it is not down near the boat launch, it seems to like this area as well. I suspect boat traffic somewhat affects its movements.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
Post by Wetlander on Sept 27, 2009 11:16:44 GMT -8
8:20am: Checked this morning (Sept 27) and spotted it along the dyke, upstream of the gate, right where Gord mentioned. Pretty sure it was the Clark's due the white by the eye and the orangy-yellow bill colour. Only got a couple of blurry distant photos, but you can kind of see the bill colour, which through the bins looked good with Gord's photos and my guides. Got to watch a Western a fair bit last year off Limbert Rd. and this one does seem to have a greyer back and show more white on the flanks as Sibley's mentions.
Last Edit: Sept 27, 2009 11:40:14 GMT -8 by Wetlander