Fwd: Arctic Loon in Humboldt Co. 13 Feb. 2008
- Forwarding my posting that I meant to post to Calbirds, also. Thanks to
Bruce Webb for notifying me about that.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Fowler <migratoriusfwlr@...>
Date: Feb 13, 2008 7:17 PM
Subject: Arctic Loon in Humboldt Co. 13 Feb. 2008
To: Birding California <BirdingCalifornia@yahoogroups.com>, Northwest
calbird <email@example.com>, Countybirders <
This morning Kerry Ross and I followed up on a possible Arctic Loon at Stone
Lagoon reported to the Northwestern California Bird Alert by "Wally"
(couldn't make out the last name), an out-of-town birder from the Central
Valley. We refound the bird he most likely reported on and we feel that the
bird is indeed an ARCTIC LOON.
The observation of this bird was overall pretty frustrating as it would only
stay on the surface a couple of seconds at a time, being up for up to 10
seconds at the most, making photography difficult. But, with the observation
we had of the bird we did get we did note that the bird was overall darker
and possibly larger than a Pacific Loon (of which there were 1-2 on the
Lagoon). The bird was blocky-headed, with the top of the head being somewhat
flat looking. The bill was large. No chinstrap was apparent. The nape and
back of the head were dark, with the nape, back of the neck, and top of the
head being dark grey, to almost blackish depending on the angle of the bird.
Most noticeable, however, was the distinct white patch that showed along
sides at the rear of the bird. This feature almost always stood out, even
from a distance, and looked almost oval-shaped in appearance. The bird was
never at rest during the whole of the observation so the extent of white
shown was almost always from the distinct rear white patch towards the rear
end of the bird. A couple of photos were taken that show the features above
and will be posted at a later time.
Directions for out-of-towners: Take Highway 101 north to Stone Lagoon.
Before Stone Lagoon you will see a trailer park campground and a small red
school house to the east. There are often Roosevelt Elk in this area and are
easy to see. Soon after you will see a brown sign for Humboldt lagoons State
Park. Look for a pullout with a visitors center on the south side of the
road and pullout and scope the lagoon from here. I would recommend morning
to be the best time to try for the bird as the lighting is pretty good.
From this vantage point the closest that we had the Arctic Loon was about
150 meters, farthest distance viewed being to where it was almost
This is Humboldt Counties 1st Arctic Loon and was predicted to show up in
Humboldt by five Humboldt birders that play the "Humboldt's Next 10 county
records" game, as seen on John Sterling's website..
Come check it out!
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