I spent the last week down by Lac qui Parle. I’m in the process of moving down there to be in the heart of Minnesota’s wildlife-filled prairie. I saw no shortage of waterfowl, deer, pheasants and turkeys-some sitting right on the lawn. But it took coming back to my Fargo-Moorhead home to have the closest encounter with something you’d normally see in floating in a wetland.
I was in the yard doing some trimming, while my lab, Mika, lounged nearby. Suddenly a noisy commotion came from beside my garage and the next thing I knew, there is a horned grebe sitting in my driveway!
Well my waterfowl-loving lab wasted no time in getting acquainted with this web-footed friend. I called her off and decided to get some pictures of the adventure. I didn’t want her to cause further injury to the bird and I didn’t want the pointy-billed grebe to hurt my dog!
After some hilarious back and forth between the two, I decided to start herding the bird two blocks to the south, to the safe confines of the Red River. I’m sure that’s where he came from, just not sure what knocked him out of the sky over my house.
Maybe I’m just getting so good at waterfowl hunting that birds just fall out of the sky around me??? I mean, it could be true, right? (lol)
Halfway to the river we found a bike path with a small puddle on it-remnants of the flooding that took place here recently. The grebe relentlessly tried his best to dive out of harms way, but the shallow water wouldn’t give.
Getting a second wind and the courage to employ an awkward looking sprint towards the river, the grebe was smelling freedom. Finally he splashed down in his home water, stretched once or twice and dove. Some strong, underwater paddles followed, and the adventure was over.
There’s no question that we have plenty of wildlife in and around town in the FM area, but I certainly didn’t expect to see a grebe inside this metro area after spending the week immersed in the sparsely populated Lac qui Parle countryside. Not often you get a close up experience like this with nature. I also didn’t mind the welcome break from yard work.