Grebes and a Caterpillar

This entry is part 91 of 133 in the series 2011 Photojournal

At least three still-downy Pied-billed Grebes were hanging out on Swan Lake waiting to be fed by parents. Also today, Connor found a green caterpillar crawling on the sidewalk. He brought it home and we were going to try to find it a food plant, but discovered it just wanted to bury itself in dirt, so we left it in a small bucket of dirt inside a rearing cage on the porch to see what might emerge.

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No Thorofare Bay and More

Christmas Bird Count was held today in Sitka. After a quick morning trip through Totem Park, I was able to spend the bulk of the day birding by skiff in the bays south of town. Of particular note was my first trip into No Thorofare Bay – a body of water, which as the name implies, is difficult to access due to a very narrow opening. The relatively large opening behind the narrow entrance means a lot of water flows in and out with the tides, but we had good timing and had little trouble getting in and out just after high tide.

Highlights in the bay included 40 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. The water was exceptionally clear making it relatively easy to see the bottom below, especially in the shallower sections. It was fascinating to see the different looking marine flora and fauna that lives in the areas of high tidal currents.

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Pied-billed Grebe Family

Look carefully for the second juvenile As far as I know this is the first breeding record for Pied-billed Grebe in Sitka, and it seems to be one of only a handful in the Alaska (a couple in Ketchikan and one from the Copper River). This summer I first noticed Pied-billed Grebe on Swan Lake … Read more