Date: 12/28/17 2:23 pm From: Walter Szeliga <walter.szeliga...> Subject: [Tweeters] Possible Arctic Loon (!?), Ginkgo State Park Interpretive Center Overlook, Kittitas County
Deborah Essman and I headed to the Ginkgo State Park Interpretive Center Overlook today (12/28) to try to relocate the previously reported Clark’s Grebes. We did not find them, however, in the outrageously cold weather, we did turn up a super dark loon, which to all appearances looked like a Pacific Loon in the field. Deborah got photos and, while looking at them when we returned home, we realized that, every photo of the bird showed an awful lot of white on the flanks. Now, I’m not saying it is an ARCTIC LOON in our eBird list —I figured I’d post it as Pacific to be conservative —but folks can have a look at the photos and decide if they want to investigate further.
The photos were taken when the bird was fairly calm, and the ubiquity of the white flanks suggests that they are not due to the bird rolling or preening. The bird did dive at one point, and even flew (well, it ran on the top of the water while flapping its wings) to a point about 4/10’s of the way across the river when a Bald Eagle spooked most of the waterfowl in the cove. The bird was seen from the back patio of interpretive center on the top of the hill and was seen in the east to east-northeast direction.