In winter plumage, though, the species is much drabber, appearing at range a smudgy, dusky grey and white bird with no sharp contrasts. Cantaloupe is the most famous melon, especially in the US. Its size ranges from 500 g to 5 kg. The whole effect is therefore slightly less like a Little Grebe and more like a diminutive Great Crested Grebe. The species winters both inland and on the coast, and there is also some exchange of birds with the Continent. Pied-billed Grebe in the upper left, with to Ruddy ducks... Home; Archives & Categories; Merlin and Lima. So adapted are they for an underwater life, they look quite ungainly on land - their nests are usually floating rafts of vegetation both for safety from predators and to save walking. Summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebes are just as dramatic as their Great Crested cousins, here showing off their deep red forenecks and breasts set off against greyish-white cheeks and a dark cap which extends down to the eye and lores. It is heavily smudged brown on the foreneck and shows a contrasting whitish cheek (but slightly brown-smudged ear coverts) and a dark cap which extends down across the eye and lores. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Their legs are set right at the back of the body and they have exceptional flexibility in the ankle and toe joints, allowing the feet (which are lobed) to be used as both paddle and rudder. Though showing a similar pattern to a flying Great Crested Grebe, the forewing patch on this Red-necked Grebe is much smaller, recalling that of a Slavonian Grebe. This non-breeding Black-necked Grebe appears rather different from Slavonian. Slavonian Grebe (Húsavík, Iceland, 16 August 2016). It is one of the most popular types of melons. Note the extensive white rear-wing patch on the secondaries, while the forewing patch is very extensive too, extending as far as the bend of the wing and also back down the sides of the body, often connecting with the white secondaries (Ran Schols / www.agami.nl). Though broadly similar in size to Black-necked Grebe, this species is structurally rather different with a low, sloping forehead, a flat crown, a short, straight bill and a slightly longer body. Little GrebeGreat-crested GrebeRed-necked GrebeSlavonian GrebeBlack-necked Grebe. This is a much rarer species in Britain than Great Crested Grebe although it has a large Holarctic distribution. In winter the Great Crested Grebe comparison is heightened by the more strongly black-and-white appearance of this species. This Icelandic bird is moulting into its first full juvenile plumage but it already shows the typical low, rounded forehead and short, straight bill of the species; size and structure, as well as plumage, are good pointers to separating the two smaller grebes (Robin Chittenden). This Great Crested Grebe is in juvenile plumage. The white patch on the secondaries is broad and prominent, however. 2. Note also the just-visible pale bill tip, a reliable character at close range (Steve Young / www.birdsonfilm.com). The grebes are aquatic duck-like birds, with representatives on all continents except Antarctica. All grebes in summer plumage are a delight. Birds in the gorgeous red-necked and white-faced summer plumage are infrequent in Britain, most here being in winter plumage. In this country it is a scarce breeder in Scotland, with a population of around 60 pairs. It is, however, also a very rare though regular breeder. Black-necked Grebe (Starrevaart, The Netherlands, 1 April 2007). Red-necked Grebe (Ristiina, Finland, 8 May 2005). This is another widespread species, occurring throughout the Holarctic and also in southern Africa. Grebes look weak flyers but are capable of surprising movements. Structural differences should be notable too. Very close views reveal a striking bright red eye. Today was a good day for Grebe watching on the Reservoir. This spring Slavonian Grebe is losing its monochrome winter plumage and acquiring its more rusty summer hues (Dominic Mitchell / www.birdingetc.com). This non-breeding Great Crested Grebe retains the elegant, almost snake-like proportions but has lost its breeding plumage adornments. Red-throated loon Gavia stellata. The pattern of dark brown stripes on the head is difficult to describe but highly distinctive nonetheless. Today, we had both a fairly rare visitor, a Horned Grebe and a more common visitor a Pied-Billed Grebe. At such close range, the dark loral line and pinkish hues in the bill can also be seen. The rest of its plumage differs little from that of an adult (although, typically, it is browner bodied) and it can be identified by its smudgy grey foreneck and dull ear coverts which reduce the cheek/cap contrast. Types of melon – Cantaloupe Melon. Have you seen something interesting? The combination of less white in the forewing and darker body plumage results in a less strikingly black-and-white appearance on the wing than Great Crested (Tomi Muukkonen / www.agami.nl). On a closer view, the characteristic white face is obvious, with white extending above the eye and restricting the dark crown. They therefore entirely lack the more startling white-faced appearance of Great Crested Grebe. On this close view it is possible to see the characteristic dark loral line and pinkish bill hues (Steve Young / www.birdsonfilm.com). The plumage differs significantly from Great Crested Grebe also, being much drabber and lacking in contrast. Horned Melon. Most sightings of flying grebes will be over the sea and involve non-breeding plumage birds so the view here is atypical for Britain. Browse North American birds in taxonomic order—by order and family, with quick access to each bird’s photos and sounds.

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