This Horned Grebe in winter plumage is among the littlest waterbirds in the area, but for the photographer it can be a big tease. Just when you spot it, get it framed, and get it in focus, it’s gone. It spends more time under water than above. It’s anybody’s guess when and where it’ll come up. Nevertheless, a few days later I got a little bit lucky and was able to film a bird that wasn’t so hungry and stayed on the surface long enough to get acquainted.
The Horned Grebe, like many other birds, looks somewhat plain and drab in winter. There’s no breeding in winter, so why bother getting on your finest feathers? One bird in breeding plumage did stay here on the North Basin (the body of water between the park and the Berkeley mainland) in the summer. It looks very different, but it’s the same species.