[Tweeters] Arctic Loon at Point No Point PM 4-12-07

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit513 at msn.com
Thu Apr 12 20:45:22 PDT 2007

Hello Birders,

The ARCTIC LOON was again observed this afternoon offshore from the Hansville General Store(near Point No Point in northeastern Kitsap Co. in Washington State)beginning at 1:40pm with good,close scope views made and several rather poor quality,but definitive photos obtained. Since we had already seen the Arctic Loon our main efforts were to get better photos of it and we felt pleased to get the photos we did. We arrived to the Hansville General Store at 12pm,where we scoped the open water under fairly windy and rough conditions and few birds. By 1pm conditions improved considerably and then we were soon joined by Igor Uhrovic,who spotted the Arctic Loon a short ways offshore in very calm water. We quickly got onto the bird with our spotting scopes,as the bird actively dove several times allowing great views. We soon obtained our first photos of the bird,as it slowly drifted onward in short flights to the northwest and eventually continued around the corner of our view towards Foulweather Bluff. At 2:25pm the bird reappeared,as it drifted our way and continued as far as the series of pilings just offshore from the Hansville Store. The bird during this time allowed the closest views,before it backtracked and drifted to the northwest as it made frequent dives.

At 3pm the bird reappeared from the direction of Foulweather Bluff,as it slowly moved our way in a northeasterly direction. The bird paused a short ways and remained afloat for 10 minutes as it preened and rested,then lifted it wings before becoming more active again. The bird then continued a short ways then at 3:20pm flew off towards the Point No Point Lighthouse. At 3:30pm the bird was relocated and watched until 4pm from the Point No Point Lighthouse parking area,as it continued alone by drifting slowly towards the Hansville Store. Overall bird diversity was way down compared to our last visit with far fewer Bonaparte's Gulls and Rhinoceros Auklets among other species,which may be a result in the shift of food supply.

We did obtain photos today,of which we have placed 6 photos of the Arctic Loon onto our website that are still quite poor,but still somewhat presentable that we wish to share. The biggest downfall was still the distance to the bird even as close as it came,but also the lighting conditions too. These photos can be accessed at the following link:

Away from the Arctic Loon our other main highlight was a MINKE WHALE that slowly surfaced twice offshore from the Hansville Store beginning at 12:30pm then again at 12:45pm. In both brief observations the whale revealed it's short, but dark dorsal fin held far back on it's body,as it surfaced and it seemed to be moving in a northeasterly direction. Other marine mammals of note during our visit to Hansville/Point No Point included several Harbor Porpoises and 1-2 California Sea Lions along with many Harbor Seals.

A list of additional bird species of note from Hansville/Point No Point included the following:

2 Red-throated Loons
12 Pacific Loons
5 Red-necked Grebes
65 Western Grebes
8+ "Black"Brant
1 Black-bellied Plovers(observed alone along the rocky shoreline immediately northwest of the Hansville Store)
2 Common Murres
10+ Marbled Murrelets
2 Band-tailed Pigeons
1 Mourning Dove
1 Rufous Hummingbird
2 Lincoln's Sparrows

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit513 at msn.com

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