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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Phoenix Area Waterfowl


Monday morning I drove around Gilbert, Chandler, and Scottsdale looking for the many waterfowl species reported from lakes and ponds in the area. Highlights included Eurasian Wigeon, Ross's Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Greater Scaup, White Pelican, Brown Pelican, and Western Grebe. Most of these birds had been reported earlier by folks scouting out the ponds for the upcoming Phoenix Area Urban Aquatic Bird Survey--a great citizen science effort that is showing just how important urban lakes and ponds can be for waterfowl in the arid southwest.

I had trouble finding the Eurasian Wigeon in Scottsdale until I ran into Henry Detwiler from Yuma, who pointed me to the right pond (Lake Angela), but the other birds were pretty easy to find at known spots. As far as I know, I'm the first to report the Greater Scaup this year from the Arizona State University Research Center ponds in Tempe, but they have been there in years past. I was also happy to find the Western Grebe for my year list, as well as three Harris's Hawks flying over an urban pond in Scottsdale.

Day List: 59 species (295% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 203 species

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