Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 3, 2012

Red-necked Grebe, another AZ rarity

Filed under: Birds, Kearny Lake, rarities — richditch @ 4:26 pm
Red-necked Grebe, Tempe Town Lake

Red-necked Grebe, Tempe Town Lake

Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E III (2x), ISO 800, 1/1600th second at f/8.

Rarities continue to turn up in Arizona – the latest in the Phoenix metro area is a Red-necked Grebe discovered afew days ago on Tempe Town Lake. Word didn’t get out about this vagrant until Friday morning, March 2, and I couldn’t get to see it until early afternoon.

Quoting from azfo.org:

Casual fall and winter visitor.  Through 2009 there were 14 accepted records, but recently there has been a dramatic increase in reports and there have been approximately 10 reports filed with the ABC since 2009.

This is my third in AZ, and my first in Maricopa County.

Red-necked Grebe, Tempe Town Lake

Red-necked Grebe, Tempe Town Lake

Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E III (2x), ISO 800, 1/1250th second at f/8.

Tempe Town Lake is a strange place: an artificial lake created in the dry bed of the Salt River by a giant rubber dam and filled with water diverted to central AZ from the Colorado River through the canals of the Central Arizona Project. The riverbed is dry for many miles around Phoenix because the natural flow is prevented by a series of dams farther to the east. A couple years ago the rubber dam failed in a spectacular event, many years before the advertised lifetime.

But it is a magnet for interesting birds. The all-time best bird was a Yellow-billed Loon – very out of range and season.

Just for fun here’s the second Red-necked Grebe on my AZ list, from Kearny Lake south of Superior, AZ, on November 23, 2006. This bird was an easier photo subject, but a lot longer drive from Phoenix.

Red-necked Grebe, Kearny, AZ

Red-necked Grebe, Kearny, AZ

Nikon D200, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E (2x), ISO 200, 1/180th second at f/11.

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