[Tweeters] Pied-billed Grebe nest

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 29 11:54:58 PDT 2021

Dear Tweeters,
Yesterday, the 29th of July, I saw a pile of eggs in a nest that had been occupied by a Pied-billed Grebe on my previous two observations. This was at the Fir Island Game Range, AKA Wylie Slough. The nest is easy to see from the blind--the one with the absurdly low ceiling and the yellow warning point. Looking out from the blind, one can see the nest on the right, near the start of a little embayment of the water there, where the reeds turn a corner.
On the 19th and again on the 21st of this month of July, a pair of the grebes were both present there. Each time, one grebe was foraging in the water, the other sitting on the nest.
Yesterday, though, I was surprised to see the nest unoccupied. There was a pile of eggs in there. They looked to be Pied-billed Grebe eggs, about 4 to 5 centimeters long and light robin's-egg blue in color.
One adult Pied-billed Grebe was in the water about twenty meters from the nest. I was wondering if the nest had been abandoned, or if perhaps the parents had left off incubation during a late-afternoon period of hot weather.
I have not seen any baby grebes or juvenile grebes at this site this year, although I did see one juvenile at Fir Island Farm Reserve on the 14th of July, not terribly far from the Game Range.
It will be interesting to see what happens with this nest, as the breeding season winds down.
Another interesting phenomenon there is the sudden change in the abundance of ducks. Until last week, Gadwalls had been the most numerous ducks at the Game Range, by far. Then, on the 21st of July, Mallards appeared to outnumber the Gadwall, but not by any overwhelming margin. Yesterday, there were at least 50 Mallards there, but I had to search and search to find a lone Gadwall! 
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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