This morning at Mud Creek WMA, I spent a long time puzzling over a
single dark duck-like bird. I thought it looked intermediate in size
between a mallard and a teal, but the only bird to use for comparison
was a fairly distant Great Blue Heron. The bird looked uniformly
gray, with some dark gray and some slightly lighter gray, but when it
flapped its wings it showed white patches. It either had unusually
large dark eyes or the area right around the eyes was dark. It had a
longer neck than most ducks. The head looked flat on top. Twice,
right after doing some grooming, it had a very small crest or raised
area at the back of the head. The bird had a heavy loon-ish bill that
pointed slightly downward. The closest I can come is a Red-Necked
Grebe - but the bill looked really dark, not yellow. There were none
of the fancy markings around the face that characterize young grebes.
The light wasn't the best, with lots of sun glare and glitter, but I
got a good look through my binoculars and then through my scope.
Any ideas other than Red-Necked Grebe?