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Western Grebes find life at Lake Anna just ducky page 2
Bird watchers head to Lake Anna for a rare glimpse of a pair of Western grebes

 Bird watchers David Youker (left) and John Adair, both from Yorktown, look at two Western Grebes from the beach at Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County. Western Grebes are rarely seen this far east.
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 1/8/2013

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In February 2011, one was rescued on the 13,000-acre lake after it had swallowed a baited hook cast by a nearby fisherman. Two birders saw the incident, met the boat as it docked, and took the grebe to the Animal Medical Center of Louisa for treatment. It went from there to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro for rehabilitation.

The bird was returned to the wild a few days later, near where it was found on the lake.

Youker, who has been bird watching seriously for eight years, said enthusiasts are always on the lookout to log birds they haven't seen.

"Every now and then [opportunities] pop up," he said, and the birding community can share in the find when rare bird alerts show up on the website hosted by the Virginia Society of Ornithology.

Other sightings recently reported on the eBird rare bird alert for Lake Anna, Youker said, are the Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull and Bonaparte's Gull. These are flagged because they are generally shore species.

Back in Yorktown, Youker, a certified master naturalist, routinely sees a lot of sea birds and songbirds.

"Just this morning, I happened to go to a nearby reservoir and saw a yellow-breasted chat," he said. It's a large songbird in the warbler family.

"I just like the outdoors," Youker said. "My family is all into birding."

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Email: rdennen@freelancestar.com


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