Gallery two  Pied Billed Grebe


This extremley rare north American vagrant was found in Salen Bay on 23rd March 2011, it is only the second record for Argyll, the first also being from Mull in 1998 when a bird spent June and July skulking around on the Mishnish Lochs.
Many thanks to Alan Curry for these images of this very difficult bird to photograph


22nd March 2011.
Location: Salen Bay, Isle of Mull.

I got to the bay around 8am on the 22nd, I pulled the car in to scan the water as i had seen a few birds from a distance, this is when i noticed the 2 grebes close to the shore together. I noticed one was slightly bigger than the other and had a longer neck, before looking through the binoculars. So, i quickly set my scope on both the birds, and realised straight away that it was a pied-billed grebe, i noticed more features different to the little grebe like the eye-ring, big, thick bill with black line through the middle. Also, as it was swimming away, i noticed the bird has no markings on the back of the neck (this was the moment i got that strange shakey feeling!) after watching the birds and comparing them, they started to swim further away into the loch, that is when i ran back to my car to get my digital camera to digi-scope the bird. i continued to watch the bird for a further 40 minuets before it dissapeared. On getting back to the lodge i was staying in, i found Alan Spellman's (mull birds recorder) phone number, I phoned him and arranged to see him the next morning to show him photographs and the location of the bird. On the morning of the 23rd, I had to drive past the bay to get to the meeting place and decided to scan the area, and found the bird straight away, i quickly jumped in the car to meet Alan and informed him the bird was still in the bay. We drove to the bay, could not find the bird for about 30 minuits and eventually it showed in another part of the bay, that is when i left Alan to get some photos of his own.

This is the web site of Alan Spellman, 'Maridon' Lochdon, Isle of Mull. PA64  6AP