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March 31, 2015 [LINK / comment]
Horned Grebe -- at last!
I noticed on the shenvalbirds e-mail listserv that someone had spotted a Horned Grebe on Lake Shenandoah recently, so I went over there after my class this afternoon. Sure enough, within a few minutes, there it was, and I was able to get close enough for a so-so photo before it dove underwater and disappeared. I waited, and looked all around the lake, but that bird was nowhere to be seen. Finally, about ten minutes later, I spotted it again, within a few feet of the shore. I got much better photos that time, including a couple in which the Grebe is devouring a crayfish it had just caught. Just like a miniature lobster -- yum!
It was overcast this afternoon, so the photo conditions were mediocre. I may give it another try if we get a sunny day in the next week or so. I have only seen Horned Grebes once or twice in my life (perhaps not since 2002), and it would be great if this bird stays in Lake Shenandoah long enough for it to change into its full breeding plumage, which is spectacular. This one was in a transition stage between winter plumage and breeding plumage.
It was my first visit to that lake in several months. I noticed that they recently built a new trail made out of crushed stone for the first hundred yards along the lake, replacing the dangerous, narrow dirt trail. The lake is managed by the Virginia Department of Games and Inland Fisheries, and a fishing permit or visitor's permit is required to enter.
Horned Grebe. (Click on the image to see it eating a crayfish.)
I also saw my first Tree Swallows of the year flying over the lake, as well as a Pied-Bill Grebe and a Ring-billed Gull. Yesterday I saw a Chipping Sparrow out back for the first time this year.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 31 Mar 2015, 8: 25 PM
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January 10, 2015 ~ Four stars get tapped for Hall of Fame
January 22, 2015 ~ Nats sign Scherzer, Max out their payroll
January 17, 2015 ~ West by Southwest: Winter wonderland scenery
February 12, 2015 ~ Redistricting reform fails
February 26, 2015 ~ Life bird: Smith's Longspur!
March 10, 2015 ~ GOP senators challenge Obama's foreign policy
April 12, 2015 ~ Play ball! Opening Day Week 2015
May 21, 2015 ~ Harper's homers lift Nationals into 1st place!
June 25, 2015 ~ Hiking up Little North Mountain
June 30, 2015 ~ Virginia wins the College World Series!
June 30, 2015 ~ If it's Tuesday, this must be Bridgewater*
June 30, 2015 ~ Emmett Hanger wins GOP primary election
July 8, 2015 ~ "That's gotta hurt!" Nationals' fans share players' agony
July 18, 2015 ~ Fleetwood Mac in concert!
August 14, 2015 ~ Northwest by North: Baseball road trip, 2015
August 25, 2015 ~ Welcome home to Washington?
September 28, 2015 ~ Papelbon chokes (twice!), Nationals fall apart
November 3, 2015 ~ Hey, Hey Kansas City: Royals are triumphant
November 21, 2015 ~ Unanimous: Bryce Harper is the NL MVP!
December 1, 2015 ~ Zimmermann signs with Tigers
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
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Also see: My blog practices.
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