Red-necked Grebe, Cross Lake, Caddo Parish, LA - 19 January 2003
Photos by Charlie Lyon



From: Charlie Lyon
Subject: [LABIRD-L] RED-NECKED and WESTERN GREBES Cross Lake 1-19-03
I made an afternoon boat run on Cross Lake this afternoon and was joined by Larry Raymond, Lonnie Gilley, and Clyde Massey. I was trying to relocate the Lesser Black-backed Gull that I had found on 1-15-03. We had a truly sifnificant cold front pass through Shreveport a few days ago and I had my doubts the gull would still be present. I was correct, and as is typical even during the winter period after the passage of significant frontal systems, there was also a significant change in birdlife. The most significant finding of all was that of two RED-NECKED GREBES, and if that was not unbelievable enough, we soon came across a WESTERN GREBE. Only four Pied-billed Grebes were to be found and there was an absence of Horned and Eared Grebes. Here is a total list and further comments concerning the grebes.
Cross Lake 3-6pm 50 degrees WSW winds 10-15 mph becoming calm at sunset
Pied-billed Grebe 4 RED-NECKED GREBE 2 one adult basic/ one first winter This represents only the third state record for this species, and the first for north Louisiana. This is only the second record of a live bird, and the first state record was a specimen record of an individual shot at Catahoula Lake on December 2, 1937. It was 58 years later before this species was again seen in our state. On March 11, 1995 Donna Ditttman and Steve Cardiff discovered a Red-necked Grebe on Lake Ponchartrain near Mandeville. It was seen by only a few observers, and disappeared a couple of hours later, before any other birders could arrive on the scene. It was never seen again.
Larry, Lonnie, Clyde and I all got excellent views of today's two Red-necked Grebes and I got some pretty good video before the two individuals flew from just off Squirrel Point to the south end of the lake. I did not chase after them, as I had gotten sufficient video for documentation purposes, and in the hopes that they may remain calm and stay awhile.
It was on 1-22-94 that Roger Breedlove and I went to Wright Patman Lake in Texas, which is no more then 15 miles from the Louisiana state line, to see a pair of Red-necked Grebes. Also present that same date at the same lake were BOTH Little Gull and Black-headed Gull. I failed today in finding the latter two species, but I am still trying.
WESTERN GREBE 1 individual This individual was noted about 30 minutes after we left the Red-necked Grebes. We located it in the bay west of Squirrel Point near the Evan's house. It was unusually shy,and my video is poor but Clyde got off a couple of distant but better photos. I found one individual on Cross Lake in the fall of 2001, but there are only a few records of this review species in NW LA.
American White Pelican 40
Double-crested Cormorant 7500
Great Blue Heron 80+
Great Egret 2
Turkey Vulture 5
Mallard 8
Northern Pintail 1 unusual in winter on Cross Lake and a new arrival
Gadwall 75 new arrivals
Canvasback 50 numbers remain down
Ring-necked Duck 1 unusually uncommon this fall and winter
Lesser Scaup 175 still no Greaters
Bufflehead 150+
Common Goldeneye gone
Hooded Merganser 8 new arrivals
Ruddy Duck 4000 stable numbers
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 250
Bonaparte's Gull 60 numbers down and we need more for me to have any hope of finding the other two gulls I'm searching for.
Ring-billed Gull 1100 numbers down 3X vs one month ago
Lesser Black-backed Gull gone
Herring Gull 4 one adult and 3 first years new arrivals
Forster's Tern numbers down 4X vs one month ago
Barred Owl 1
mockingbird 3
starling 12
Red-winged Blackbird 200
Common Grackle 1500
I have to work tomorrow but I should be able to get out on the lake by 3 or 3:30pm, so I will offer a first come first serve opportunity for those interested in joining me. Hubert and Pat Hervey are first in line so I have room for five more. I probably can get back out Wednesday afternoon as well, but Tuesday will be impossible. I will not be in town this weekend, so any of you serious listers may wish to get with me Wednesday provided I can relocate these birds Monday. They may be one day wonders like the Lake Ponchartrain bird, but hopefully they will be more sociable and set a spell.
Charlie Lyon
Shreveport, LA (Grebe Capital of Louisiana)

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