This morning I headed to Van Wagner's Beach first thing to look for the reported Western Grebe, found yesterday around noon by Rob Dobos. I arrived shortly after 7 and it was easily visible between Hutch's and Baranga's on the Beach. I walked out to the lake and grabbed a number of photos as it dove, about 100 feet offshore.
It kept heading east towards me, giving me great scope views. My parents had gotten me a Nikon TC 1.4x teleconverter for my birthday, effectively changing my 300 mm lens to a 420 mm. The first photos I took with it on my camera were of the grebe! It was still a little distant, but the extra 120 mm sure helped!
The Western Grebe was yet another rarity to add to the list for the year. As of the end of the 2009 OBRC report, there were 27 accepted records in Ontario, with 10 of these records coming in the spring period of early April to mid-May. An additional 5 records were accepted of Clark's/Western Grebe that couldn't be assigned to a species.
On the way back to Cambridge, I stopped at the Safari Road wetland just east of Kirkwall Road in Flamborough. Despite traffic, wind, and loud squawking Canada Geese, I managed to hear 2 American Bitterns as well as a Virginia Rail grunting.
These 3 year-birds bring me up to 217 for the year. I am planning on spending the rest of the day relaxing in Cambridge, then heading back to Pelee later this afternoon.