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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Red-necked Grebe at Ferry Meadows CP

Click on this photo...

© Terry Simms

Another excellent set of digital SLR photos from Terry Simms. It's not often you see grebes' lobed feet... Today, this bird showed at very close range on the Overton Cut/River Nene.

There has been a small debate about the Red-necked Grebe's age. Some believed that a yellowish iris was visible, which would make it a first-winter bird. Others thought that a yellowish eye-ring was what was being seen, and that the eye was dark brown - suggesting an adult bird. However, the large extent of yellow on the bill contradicts this somewhat. Much of the available literature and illustrations have also proved confusing and inaccurate!

Terry's superb pictures have solved one puzzle. Click on the last picture to view an even closer-up image! The bird's pupil can be seen and the iris is dark brown; the yellow looks like an orbital ring. It has been interesting to see how light conditions and angle of viewing have affected what has been visible.

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