Whether it finally had decided wintering in the arctic was just too much, or simply got blown off course, a Red-necked grebe found its way recently to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where attentive birders spotted it during the NRA's annual Christmas bird count.
In all the birders tallied 81 species during the count, which took place January 5. The count was the 12th annual for the NRA. Twenty three birders in four teams spent the day on Lake Powell, the Colorado River, and at sites around Page, Arizona, to identify different species and count total numbers of birds in the area.
Among the different bird species identified were Bald and Golden eagles, four species of wren, juncos, sparrows, and Mountain Bluebirds, as well as Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked ducks numbering a couple thousand. Birders also counted a record number of Canada geese during this year’s bird count: 825 geese are wintering in and around Page.
The celebrity of the bird count was a Red-necked Grebe spotted on the Colorado River. The Red-necked Grebe is an arctic sea bird that usually winters off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. This was only the third documented sighting of a Red-necked Grebe in northern Arizona, according to NRA officials.