A mysterious birdie goes swimming and diving for foodstuffs in the McKenzie River valley’s Clear Lake, Oregon. This isn’t going to seem like particularly odd behavior for a water bird, but it is if it’s what we think this UFD is. I won’t say much so as not to give anything away. You can judge yourselves from the pictures and video.
It was just a wee silhouette on the shadier side of the lake at first, and we watched it do the typical water birdy things without knowing what it might be, other than it definitely wasn’t a duck.
Now we could see its shape a bit better, but keep in mind, it was pretty far off and we didn’t have the same zoomed-in view this photo has.
It seems to be plucking a bit of plant from between its toes, there.
In the above photo, we can now clearly see it hasn’t got webbed feet, but looks to have distinct, narrow little toeses. Rather odd for a paddling bird, innit? Yet when you watch the video, you’ll see it swimming and diving like a pro.
Finally, it’s moved to a sunnier area, and we can see it’s a charcoal gray, not black. Not the most colorful bird ever, but if it’s what Lockwood and I think it is, this is a pretty exciting sighting.
You can see the feet pretty well in this shot, and it definitely looks like there’s no webbing.
I don’t really have an excuse for including this next photo. I just think it’s cute.
And here you can see some faint markings on the wings, like little white stripes, possibly, but very subtle.
I know what this little delight looks like, and when you watch the video, it’s behavior may have you exclaiming, “Is that a -?!” much like Lockwood did. Truth is, I dunno. So it’s down to you, my darlings. Watch its feeding behavior in the video, check out the photos, and decide if it’s acting just a smidge out of character for what it is, or if we mistook it for something else that’s acting perfectly normal.