While taking a bike ride along the east side of the lake I saw my first loon for the "winter." Also four horned grebes. I saw a couple grebes in the distance (toward Negro Bar) that might have been eared grebes as well. There are a few hundred gulls congregated together near the little island just down from the bluffs, but nothing really stood out. Also, a quick look at a merlin passing overhead close to Willow Creek / bike trail.
I checked the loon out from across the lake (~175 yards) with my binoculars and assume it is a common loon. Anyone with a spotting scope who wants a good at it should view it from the east side of the lake this afternoon, as it remained on the other side, just down from the island and close to a large mound of dredge tailings. The best access is Parkshore Drive (off Folsom Blvd., turn at the Lake Forest Cafe). The access parking is closed but street parking is good and its a short walk to the bike trail using an asphalt trail. Turn left at the bike trail and look for a big mound of rocks on the other side of the lake.
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