Friday, March 25, 2011

Least Grebe!

I was birding Travis Audubon's Baker Sanctuary this morning when I got a phone call from Chuck Sexton. He was birding the Parmer Village end of Lake Creek Trail and he had just found a Least Grebe! It was in the creek near the last dam. I've never seen a Least Grebe in our neighborhood so when I finally got home this afternoon I immediately grabbed my spotting scope and drove to the end of Saddlebrook Trail to look for it. The Least Grebe was right out in the open, swimming around, occasionally diving, and occasionally dashing across the surface of the water after something. Here's a photo I got:

Least Grebe - 3

And here are a few more photos. Least Grebes range from north Argentina to south Texas. Although you can find them in central Texas, they're not very common. They can be found in all kinds of slow moving or still bodies of fresh or brackish water, including lakes, creeks, marshes, ponds, and even temporary ditches. Like all grebes, they are great underwater swimmers. They catch and eat all kinds of insects, small fish, tadpoles, etc. both under water and on the surface of the water. This Least Grebe was the 204th species I've observed in our neighborhood!


NC_Birdwatch said...

Real nice bird & super photos. Looks like a great
pond for ducks and such.

Anonymous said...

Not there this morning... drats

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks Brian!

I briefly checked for it Sunday and did not find it. Tim Fennell also was out there looking but did not see the bird either. But it might still be on the creek, maybe in one of the upstream dammed areas that are less accessible.