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   Owl's Head Light State Park, Rockland, Knox County, Maine

Photographed 3/15/05 by Derek Lovitch.
Present: March 2, 2005 - March 22, 2005
The following series of photographs were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 995, hand held up to a Leica Televid 77 APO spotting scope with a 32x fixed eyepiece. The bird was photographed between 4:45 and 5:00pm on 3/15/05. Although the light was low at the time, these photographs were taken with the bird within the shade of the cliffs. There is no direct low sunlight on the bird that could possibly wash out or distort colors (especially the brightness of the bill). I believe the photos do show the true color of the bill.

The combination of the clean yellow-orange bill; clean white face with a sharp demarcation between the white of the face and the black of the crown; the pure white supraloral area; and the grayish sides and flanks, all of which are evident in these photos seem to conclusively identify this bird as a pure CLARK'S GREBE. This is the second photographically documented record of Clark's Grebe for the East Coast, and the first for New England.

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#1 - bird about 150 yards offshore. The white supraloral area appeared much cleaner - pure white, not gray - than these photos seem to show.

An enlargement of #1, notice the white supraloral area, and the clean border between black and white on the face.

#2 Even at this distance, it is clear that the eye is not completely within black, as expected on a Western Grebe.

An enlargement of #2, this also shows the white in front of the eye, and it's a good view of the true color and nature of the bill.

#3 Note the gray, not black back.

An enlargement of #3, the gray-smudged whitish sides are noticebale here.

#4 A hybrid would not show the clean yellow-orange bill and the crisp edge of black and white on the face as this bird does. No one has found a picture of a hybrid that shows white in front of the eye, yet with a perfect Clark's bill.

#5: This surf-riding shot shows the gray sides very well, with even the white of the underside being visible here.

#6: This is the typical distant (300-400 yards out), sun-light view of the bird from the beach. Even at this distance, notice the screaming yellow-orange bill, extensively white face, and pale sides. This was also the photograph Vickery passed around with the suggestion that this bird deserved closer scrutiny!