Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Montrose Western Grebes 11/11/12

Hi all,

Two Sunday's ago; I woke up late and thought I would have a relaxing day. I got the Bohemian Waxwing on that Friday, and won my competition for Robotics (a school event) on Saturday. I was hoping to relax, but when I read my email that morning, I saw that Lou Muñoz and Fran Morel had seen a Western Grebe at Montrose about a hour before I woke up. This was another bird I needed for my state list, and really wanted to see it. Luckily for my mom (who I would ask to drive me there), it had swum away and was not present at that moment. I went along with my day, and saw that at around 12:00, Jeff Skrentny refound it. It was still there!

I went to Academic Approach for my ACT prep around 2:00, and convinced my mom that we should make a run over there after. We got there soon after I got out of class, and walked out onto the fishhook pier. That was an experience in itself. The winds were ferocious, and I had to lie down on the pier just to get a stable picture. It turned out that the winds were up to 60 mph that day, and we were right on the lakefront in the middle of it. But as we walked out there, I saw Jerry Goldner photographing something in the lake. I began to scan with my binoculars, and found a Western Grebe! Illinois bird #308! But wait. I thought I saw something else, and after it rose on top of a wave, it was a second Western Grebe! Not only did I get my state bird, but also I got two of them. My mom and I walked over to Jerry, and he showed us a few of his shots. I tried to lie down on the ground, and was able to manage a few shots:

As we were watching the Grebe, Jerry called out that there was a Bonaparte's Gull in the fishhook. I looked over, and was able to get a decent shot of it:

We couldn't stay too long, and soon after arriving, my mom and I began the treacherous journey back to land, and on the way back, I took a shot of Jerry photographing into the wind. You can even see the Western Grebes off to his left as little black dots:

This was quite an experience, but then again, what do we not do for birds? Thanks for reading, and I hope I have something good to report on soon!


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