[Tweeters] Saltwater State Park--Arctic loon and maybe Yellow-billed loon

valvb1 at comcast.net valvb1 at comcast.net
Thu Dec 31 15:09:46 PST 2020

This morning I took advantage of the brief sunshine and calm weather to follow up on the Arctic loon sighting of a couple of days earlier at Saltwater State Park in Des Moines.  It did not take me long to find it.  Sharp contrast between very clean and dark nape and clear white of the under neck. No evidence of a chin strap.  The lower flanks were clearly white.  I had thought perhaps the bird was stretching or preening.  But no, this was his normal posture in the water.  I observed him for several minutes until I was satisfied this was an Arctic loon.  I attempted to get photos, but he was out if reach of my camera and I could not get my cell phone camera to work on my scope.  He then went underwater, so I scanned to the north, not far off the shoreline, when I spotted a loon I immediately thought was a yellow-billed.  The nape and sides of the neck were a very soft light tan, and there was an obvious ear patch.  Unfortunately, just as I noted these features, the !
bird dove and I never saw him again.  Then the wind came up and the water got very rough, making bird ID difficult.  But I had a productive morning.  Following is a partial list if birds I saw:2 white-winged scoters12 Barrow's goldeneyes2 Brandt's cormorants1 marbled murrelet18 red-breasted mergansers1 red-necked grebe4 horned grebesKen Brunnertanager50.krb at gmail.comSent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE device
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