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

Adam Sedgley sedge.thrasher at gmail.com
Thu Dec 31 18:23:46 PST 2020

Hi tweets.

I believe I saw this bird on the evening of November 29 at Browns Point
(Pierce County). The light was fading fast and the bird was *just* out of
range of my binoculars, but I could make out the bird's broad white flanks
while the bird drifted north away from the point. It lacked the grayish
back and lanky silhouette of a Red-throated Loon but I couldn't make out
the bill, let alone the lack of a chinstrap and the sharp demarcation
between the nape and cheek.

The look wasn't worth alerting Tweeters or submitting to eBird but it was
convincing enough for me to return to the point a couple times a week since
that sighting. No dice.

I just wanted to warn people that if it disappears from Saltwater State
Park, Browns Point (and the accessible shoreline in between) would be good
to check.



Adam Sedgley
S e a t t l e, WA
sedge.thrasher [at] gmail [dot] com

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 3:10 PM valvb1 at comcast.net <valvb1 at comcast.net>

> 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 scoters

> 12 Barrow's goldeneyes

> 2 Brandt's cormorants

> 1 marbled murrelet

> 18 red-breasted mergansers

> 1 red-necked grebe

> 4 horned grebes


> Ken Brunner

> tanager50.krb at gmail.com


> *Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE device*

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