Red-throated loon

bi8444.jpgI spent a couple of hours today with this bird, first time I have ever seen this species – a red-throated loon. So where is the red-throat you say? Well, this bird is in its winter plumage, so no red throat this time of year. It it pretty rare to see a bird like this around here. Its breeding range is up in the northern parts of Canada and into the Arctic. However, my National Geo field guide indicates they are known to migrate through the Eastern Great Lakes. So lucky for me and the other birders that have been reporting its sighting. I had the bird to myself, most likely because of the 30 mph gusting winds, 31 deg F and occasional blizzard conditions today. Great spring weather.

Though the loon was often quite far away, a few times it would go on its diving missions. So I just sat myself down on the shoreline and watched. What amazed me was the amount of territory the loon covered underwater. It started probably 75-100 feet out or so, and popped up fairly close to the shore where I could get some closer shots. One time it popped up with a fish and the nearby seagulls immediately dive bombed the loon trying to snatch its catch, causing it to dive again. A few more shots of this red-throated loon are in my gallery.

6 Comments

  1. I am so jealous! What a great experience, and a great picture, too. The detail visible in the feathers and the eerie glow in the eye really capture the loon’s essence.

    Heck, I was out in 31 deg weather, too, and all I got was the last parking place in the garage.

  2. way to go! I’ve been following this on birders@umich.. what a treat to not only see this wonderful loon but to come back with some great images.. well worth getting out in that ‘spring-like’ weather, great shots Mark :)

  3. WOW! So beautiful…great shots.

  4. When is enough enough>? How many pix of that Loon do you need? My husband always asks me……How many pix of sunsets do you need?? and I reply….
    As many as I want!!
    I go to Stoney Creek myself. I’m going to have to stay longer and look around more.
    Thank you for sharing. Do you ever put the settings and type of lens you use with your photos?

  5. Hi Marji, thank you for stopping by.
    In my gallery I report lens usage, but I don’t report shutter speeds and apertures. I personally don’t find them that valuable because they are for that particular situation I was in. If you have a particular image you want to know them for, I can always look them up within the digital file.

  6. Wonderful information, i have never heard about this bird, i have bookmarked your post for others reference thanks for sharing the information…

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