Hoary-headed Grebe

HH Grebe

These birds are named because of the streaky feathers across their face.  On my recent trip to Nelson I drove down the road towards Kaikoura to Lake Elterwater, which is a nice wildlife refuge and full of water at this time of year.  On a previous visit I had found the lake pretty dry, but currently water is quite high around the viewing platform and a pair of Hoary-headed Grebe were floating past.  Up until recently these birds have been Australian vagrants, but a couple of birds have bred at Lake Elterwater in the last couple of years.  There may be 4 or 5 birds with the new status of rare native.  They are similar in size to the New Zealand Dabchick and Australian Little Grebe, but easily distinguished in breeding plumage.

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