Monday, October 26, 2009

A Pair of Pied-billed Grebes

I figured out how to take the stress off my left arm. I still had a monopod which I had actually never used - had bought it before I got my current lens with optical stabilizer. I also had a small fanny pack lying around. Well, I put the two together, attached the monopod to the ring mount on the lens, adjusted the length and set the end into the in the pocket of the fanny belt. And presto, great support system. Now I only need my left hand to balance the rig, and it's easy to maneuver.

Over the past couple of days I had been looking for scoters, but no luck on any of the lakes, ponds or streams within easy driving distance. In fact I didn't see anything much worth reporting until the Pied-billed Grebes this morning:

I saw two pairs, but the first one vanished before I could get my camera on them. I snuck up on the second pair, who just as soon as they spied me paddle away rapidly, vanishing in the vegetation on the opposite shore. In non-breeding plumage they don't show the dark ring around the bill that apparently gave them the name.

I'll keep my eyes out for scoters though and hope to get some local tweets that point me in the right direction.


  1. Oh, they are awesome, awesome, awesome! I want to see some! Great shooting - espescially injured! You'll have to take a picture of your rig, because I can't quite picture it. I think I saw something similar (if I am imagining it correctly!) marketed for video cameras a while back.

  2. I am intrigued by the "swollen" throat on the one bird. In other birds I would think it was a full crop, but I thought grebes swallowed food whole. I wish I knew more about their biology.

  3. ...interesting--combining the monopod with the fanny pack. I use a monopod a lot, but never though about shortening it and using a fanny pack as a support! Sweet Pied-billed Grebe photos. I always like watching them.


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