Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

Summer plumage adult Black-necked Grebe (subspecies P. n. nigricollis) at Laguna Navaseca, Spain - April 2016

OTHER NAMES: Eared Grebe
Local Name (Spain): Zampullín Cuellinegro - "Black-necked Grebe"
Local Name (Japan): Ha-jiro kaitsuburi (ハジロカイツブリ) - "White-winged Grebe"
Featured Subspecies: Podiceps nigricollis nigricollis
Weight: 200-735g
Length: 28-34cm
Wingspan: 57cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

The Black-necked Grebe is one of our rarer grebes - of the three less common species in the UK, it has by far the smallest wintering population, and thus finding one might be a matter of chance (or the ability to check for reports of them). Black-necked grebes seem to congregate on reservoirs and lakes during the winter (and occasionally in Summer), but it is during the former time of the year that you probably have the best chance of finding them. Differentiating between black-necked and slavonian may be difficult at range while in Winter plumage but the black-neck of its name is the deciding factor, with the throat of the Slavonian being white.  In Japan, it seems like a bit more of a common species in Winter; I found birds on the sea on both Honshu and Hokkaido while at Laguna Navaseca in Spain is was positively abundant.

 - Related Species -
ORDER: Podicepiformes
FAMILY: Podicipedidae
GENUS: Podiceps
SUBSPECIES: P. n. nigricollis, P. n. gurneyi, P. n. californicus

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce Breeding Species (40-60 pairs) and Scarce Winter Migrant (approx. 130 birds)
 - Migrant birds seen at Rutland Water (2 Winter plumage adults in 2009) and Pitsford Reservoir (1 Summer plumage adult 2011), .
JAPAN - Widespread Winter Migrant
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Seen at Kamakura (1 Winter plumage adult, on the sea) and Akkeshi (1 Winter Plumage adult, on the sea)
SPAIN - Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant at Laguna Navaseca (dozens of Summer plumage birds)


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