Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

September 4, 2012

Reddish Egret – Another Vagrant in AZ

Filed under: Birds, digital benefits, rarities — richditch @ 6:12 pm
Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/400th second at f/8

Now that September is here it won’t be too many more weeks until the temperature drops enough that I’ll be getting out regularly each week for more bird photography, but it is still hot and I still need a little incentive to get up early and head out. Such an incentive happened this week when a juvenile Reddish Egret was discovered in Gilbert, AZ, about two miles east of the Water Ranch. The report was posted on Sunday, the day the egret was discovered, and there were a few follow up reports later in the day as birders visited the location and got a look.

I headed out early on Monday September 3, reaching the well described location a little after 7:00 am. The Reddish Egret was one of the first birds I saw. There were two other birders with cameras already there and I joined them as soon as I got my gear ready.

Over the next 39 minutes I took 124 shots as the egret moved around. It is hard to remember the days of film shooting when we worried about the number of shots we took! We are now much freer to shoot in bursts (no worry about changing a roll of film after 36 frames when shooting digital on a high capacity compact flash card that holds 400, or 800, or more images even when shooting large raw files).

This image is from the end of my session with this bird, when we had closed distance with each other, and when the background looked the best. The egret is obviously banded (the green band is marked P77, while the other leg shows a metal band with harder to read raised numbers). It was quickly determined that “this juvenile Reddish Egret was banded in Isla Alcatraz, Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico on 11 June 2012” according to Eduardo Palacios.

I don’t know the statistics yet on this species in AZ (the web site hasn’t posted any photos or info yet).But this is the fourth Reddish Egret I’ve seen in AZ since moving here in 1994:

  • Snyder Hill Sewage Treatment Facility, August 10, 1996
  • Picacho Reservoir, October 26, 2001
  • Chandler, AZ, December 28, 2008 and January 1, 2009
  • Gilbert, AZ, September 3, 2012

The Chandler bird was included in an earlier post on this blog:

Reddish Egret Chandler AZ

Nikon D200, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E (2x), tripod, ISO 320, 1/500th second at f/8




  1. Congrats Rich, on yet another notable find – despite that punishing heat. It’s cooling off nicely up here, finally!

    Comment by rondudley — September 4, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

  2. Big congrats on this rarity Rich! I hope it cools off there very soon, it has finally started to do that here.

    Comment by Mia McPherson — September 6, 2012 @ 5:16 am

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