Photos: Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

For the past few days now, a Red-necked Grebe has been spotted at the city park in Jonesboro, Ark. Today marked my fourth visit to find this rare-to-Arkansas grebe. It was actually becoming frustrating because people would see it right before and right after I was there – I just wouldn’t see it.

This visit started off on a good note. I parmed near the entrance to the park with the plan to walk around the lake and not leave until I saw it or it got dark. With minutes, I found Eastern Bluebirds and Yellow-rumped Warblers flinging in the trees overhead while Mallards, Canada Geese and American Coots scrambled after the food a family was tossing to them. I walked the gravel trail along the water for a minute or two to discover Ruddy Ducks in the water and a Red-breasted Nuthatch in a nearby tree.

Ruddy Ducks
Red-breasted Nuthatch

Immediately after these sightings, I found a Horned Grebe. This grebe is common in the state during its non breeding season especially in October when it’s migrating, according to All About Birds.

Non breeding Horned Grebe

I sat and watched the Horned Grebe for a little bit before deciding to move on. But, I only took a few steps before I saw a water bird fly in just ahead of me. It was the Red-necked Grebe and it swam along the shoreline toward me so I just sat back down.

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebes are not common to most of the United States – their range crosses a little over the nation’s northern border, according to All About Birds. They typically are found in Canada and Alaska. The last time one was found in Arkansas was two years ago, and this is probably the 11th time one has been spotted in the state.

I was at the park for 30 minutes max, but it turned out highly successful.

Photo essay: A snowy morning

It was lightly snowing, but I simply couldn’t resist visiting Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. I had the trip in mind for several days and, well, I did wake up early to take a drive with Izzie.

I was the only person out, which was fine by me. I saw plenty of birds. Here’s some of what I saw:

Snow

Wilson's Snipe1
Wilson’s Snipe

Northern Shoveler5
I’ve seen plenty of Northern Shoveler’s, but the ducks have always been just floating like this.

Northern Shoveler1
I finally saw the backside of a Northern Shoveler as the duck flew away. Gorgeous coloring!

Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked ducks
Ring-necked ducks  

Ruddy Duck, American Coot
A Ruddy Duck and American Coot

Tree Swallow, first spring1
Tree Swallow, first spring

 

Photo essay: Hunting Blue-winged Teal

DUCKS1-Blue-winged Teal1
Male and Female Blue-Winged Teal

My goal this winter was to photograph a Blue-Winged Teal duck. I finally got lucky in this quest during a trip to Bayou Meto’s Halowell Reservoir. I was pretty excited to see the ducks as well as a pair of Gadwells. The trip was bird-filled with a few favorites. Here’s some of what I saw:

DUCKS2-Gadwell male and female
Male and Female Gadwell ducks

DUCKS3-Mallards
Mallards

DUCKS4-Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

DUCKS5-Mallards2

DUCKS6-American Coot
American Coot

DUCKS7-Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

DUCKS8-Song Sparrow1
Song Sparrow

DUCKS9-Killdeer1
Killdeer

Red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed hawk

Oh Savannah …

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

I finally found a Savannah Sparrow and an Eastern Phoebe in Arkansas County as well as a few other well-known additions.

1-13 Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

1-13 Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup

1-13 American Coot1
American Coot

1-13 Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee