Last night (May 11) at 6:30 pm I observed a Clark's (or Clark's x Western) Grebe on Lake George south of St. Francis.
This grebe was 400 yards from my viewing location at the beach, but the light was good and there was little wind or waves.
The bright yellow bill was immediately apparent. The eyes were within the white of face, but I could not tell if there was any white above the eye (at times it seemed there was some white above the eye, at other times not). The lores appeared to be white.
The band of dark on the back of the was relatively narrow, when the grebe was facing directly away it seemed to be less than 1/2 the width of the neck.
The back appeared to be a lighter color than I would expect on a Western, but there were no other grebes available for direct comparison.
Even if this bird is "just" a Western Grebe, I believe it would be a relatively unusual occurrence for Anoka County.
I would have liked a closer look, but after five minutes of observation the grebe moved farther out on the lake as it swam from a motorboat, and remained well out for the next half-hour.
Lake George Regional Park is south of St Francis on county highway 9 (Round Lake Boulevard).
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