Date: 1/3/20 2:08 pm From: Eli Holton via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: [CT Birds] Possible Pacific Loon
This afternoon, I birded a little at lake Whitney and noticed a strange loon. Here is my description:
I got to lake whitney around 1:30, and after a while, went over to Waite Street. I noticed a RTLO on one side of the road, and when I checked the other side, I noticed another loon that I immediately thought looked different. I started to compare the 2 loons and noticed that the mystery loon was much darker, with a lot of black plumage on the head. I also noticed faint stripes running across the loon’s back, which peaked my interest. Here are the details I noticed.
The coloration overall was much darker than the RTLO, especially the head. The size of the bird was a little larger than the RTLO, but a lot smaller than a COLO. I would estimate the length of the bird to be around 26 inches. The bill, when compared with the RTLO, was straighter. There was also a lot of dark plumage on the neck, and I noticed a faint chinstrap on the throat. The head shape was also a lot more rounded than the RTLO. The back was dark except for the faint white stripes, and I noticed a small white patch near the base of the tail.
After carefully observing the loon for around 20 minutes, the RTLO flew off in the direction of Long Island Sound. I immediately biked home and pulled out my field guides. In all of them, the bird best matched the pictures and illustrations of a PALO. I studied the PALO, but had to run an errand. I drove by Lake Whitney, and the loon was still there at 3:45.
If anybody is available to check Lake Whitney tomorrow, that would be great!