I took images of a Clark’s Grebe in flight yesterday and I will probably never be able to do that again because they only fly at night. These are horrible images because I was so far away from the grebe and they fly surprisingly fast.
Fast and direct with rapid wing beats, neck stretched with head slightly below level of body, feet stretched out behind. Migratory flights at night, rarely fly otherwise.
From quite a distance I saw one bird attempt flight yesterday and I believe that this bird is the same one because after it headed north in attempted flight it swam back south. I was trying to pay attention to the birds in front of me and keep an eye on it in case it attempted to fly again.
To my surprise… it did. And pooped while it flew.
The grebe flew north over the water very quickly and it was a challenge to keep my focus on the bird because of the vegetation nearby.
I could see the grebe make a wide arc in flight and it headed towards an area with some open water.
At first I thought this was a Western Grebe but after reviewing this image I came to the conclusion that it is a Clark’s Grebe because of the extensive white flight feathers shown in the crappy image above. Western Grebes don’t show that much white in their flight feathers.
I couldn’t believe I had seen and photographed a grebe in flight during the day. The grebes are getting ready for migration and perhaps that is why I saw this grebe take a short flight.
I know the images I took of the Clark’s Grebe in flight are not my usual quality but I will take them as they are and I am glad I was paying attention to that grebe. Once in a life time.
Life is good.