As I arrived at LaSalle Park near the marina one recent morning, I noticed a Horned Grebe (HOGR) making its way towards the shore on the opposite side of the small bay from where I was standing. I quietly picked up my tripod with attached camera and lens, placed it over my right shoulder and made my way over to the other side of the bay closer to the HOGR. Realizing that the light was pretty good and coming from a decent angle on that side of the shore, delight struck me as I spotted an opening in the leafless bushes. I quietly set down my tripod and no sooner had I accomplished this when the nearby HOGR dove below the surface and resurfaced with something in its bill, something that I assumed was some kind of plant life or a mussel. Not wanting to miss a good photo opportunity with very good lighting conditions, I focused on the red eye of the grebe and rattled off several frames. Shortly thereafter another grebe arrived on the scene, only this one was in full breeding plumage. I felt fortunate as this was the first time I had seen a HOGR in breeding plumage. I manage to get some decent pics and later, once all the activity subsided as the grebes made their way further out of the bay, I reviewed some of my photos on the back on my LCD screen, hoping that I had captured some good images. It was only then that I realized that the HOGR was holding a fish in its bill. What a great start to the day!
Horned Grebe - non-breeding plumage
Horned Grebe - breeding plumage