BESP – Red-necked Grebe, etc

This morning Drew Weber, Josh Lefever, Nadia Barkawi, and I drove out to Bald Eagle State Park to see if any of the waterfowl Drew and I had found yesterday were still around. Our first stop was to Lower Greens Run, where Josh spotted a Red-necked Grebe. Before long, Joe Verica, Mike Dreibelbis, Jim Dunn, and one or two other birders had joined us at the fish pier to watch the grebe. The only other time I have seen Red-necked Grebes in Centre County was last year on November 1st when there were three at Lower Green Run.

Red-necked Grebe - juvenile (A terrible photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

After watching the grebes for a while longer, we decided to go search for some terns that Joe had reported. We finally found three terns at Hunter’s Run boat launch that turned our to be Common Terns. This was a the latest Common Tern has been seen in Centre County. As we were watching the terns, a Cooper’s Hawk (photo below) made a close pass as well as a juvenile Osprey. Based on the orange eye color of the Cooper’s Hawk (rather than red) this bird is a subadult. In the field, I thought this bird was a male based on it’s small size but the orange-ish cheeks were throwing me off since that is more typical of a female (males have blue-ish cheeks). After some reading, it turns out that subadult males can also occasionally show orange-ish cheeks, which confirmed my suspicions. Here is a link to our full checklist from BESP today.

One of three adult Common Terns at Bald Eagle SP today. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Cooper's Hawk (subadult male) that made a close flyby at Hunter's Run. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Osprey (juvenile) at Hunter's Run. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)