Eared Grebe on a gray day – D200, f7.1, 1/250, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
This photo was taken on a cloudy day, the dim lighting was a challenge and these Eared Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis) seem to like to keep their back to me. They do turn back and look now and then so I try to be ready for when that happens.
Despite the dreary light I am glad I took this shot because of how well the orange eye stands out, a nice splash of color in an otherwise black and white image.
This Eared Grebe is in nonbreeding plumage and while they are gorgeous birds in breeding plumage I find them very appealing in this stage of plumage too.
Eared Grebes are the most abundant grebe in North America, there are times I see huge flocks of them on the Great Salt Lake numbering in the tens of thousands. Except for when they are breeding they prefer highly saline water like the Great Salt Lake where their favorite foods thrive, brine shrimp and alkali flies.