Brett Richards has posted the photos on the ID Discussion Gallery and the following request for feedback. Anybody have any thoughts? It does look bizarre and not a typical Slavonian. Has Pied-billed ever hybridized over there with Little Grebe? I remember there being some long-staying vagrants a few years back.
I have posted 3 photos (of my usual poor quality) of the first Slavonain Grebe for Oman on the ID Discussion Gallery on Surfbirds. I have never seen a Slavonian Grebe like this before, nor can I find any images of one like it. It has an orange bill, with just the culmen dark, and the extreme tip whitish. There is a brownish cheek patch, and the flanks are buffish. It does not have the usual black & white appearance of a winter-plumaged Slavonian Grebe, and for a while, while it was swimming with a Little Grebe, I overlooked it as one of that species, although it was a little larger & larger-headed. Also, although the eye is reddish, it is duller than normal.
It could be an individual which is aberrant in several features (displaying a syndrome), or could it possibly be a hybrid Slavonian x Little Grebe hybrid? The bird at http://www.chardres.clara.co.uk/pictures/dabchick2.jpg (which came up on an image search for Slavonian Grebe), does appear to be a Dabchick (Little Grebe) as captioned, but bears some resemblance to the Oman bird.
I would welcome informed comments.
Look forward to your thoughts, Andy Birch