[Tweeters] Arctic Loon PM update 4-14-07

Ruth and/or Patrick Sullivan godwit513 at msn.com
Sat Apr 14 22:54:03 PDT 2007

Hello Birders,

The ARCTIC LOON was well enjoyed and viewed by many birders this afternoon between 12:30pm to just before 4pm from the Hansville Store near Point No Point(in Washington State)for those interested in coming from across Washington and abroad. After the morning group of birders viewed the bird from the Point No Point Lighthouse the bird drifted northwest with a group of 4 Pacific Loons at 12:30pm,where many birders were treated to great comparisons of both loon species for a short while. The weather was glorious most of the afternoon with calm conditions unlike yesterday. The Arctic Loon eventually separated itself from the group of Pacific Loons and remained alone for a great while drifting back and forth from the Hansville waterfront between a series of pilings west to Skunk Bay. The bird continued this pattern of drifting for the remainder of the day,but also remained stationary at some locations by diving, remaining afloat and preening too. During the first portion of the afternoon the lighting was great with great backlighting,but skies turned very cloudy by 2pm and at 3:15 threatening clouds appeared to our backs from the northeast. Several of us remaining on location continued to watch the bird,as it associated with 2 Pacific Loons from a fair distance as we scoped looking towards Foulweather Bluff in Skunk Bay. Eventually the dark clouds moved over us and it began to rain hard at 3:30pm,but the Arctic Loon remained in Skunk Bay from our views. The Arctic Loon and several Pacific Loons seemed to favor Skunk Bay and would often drift in and out of views from our vantage point along the beach from the Hansville Store. This appears to be one location where the Arctic Loon likes to be and can be completely unnoticed until it reappears. During most sightings this afternoon the bird was not especially far out in the water,except for views made near Skunk Bay and many photos were taken of the bird during the closest observations. Other notable sightings observed from the Hansville waterfront included the following:

80+ "Black"Brant
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
13 Black-bellied Plovers
12 Sanderlings
150+ Dunlin
8+ Marbled Murrelets

More birders are expected tomorrow in search of the Arctic Loon and we just wish to update the afternoon sightings for today,as well as other sightings from the Point No Point/Hansville region.  Today we were joined by Jim Pruske,where we spent most of the time watching the Arctic Loon and keeping a general eye on the bird for other birders too. At 3:30pm we vacated our viewing of the bird as the heavy rain showers persisted so we ventured over to the Point No Point Lighthouse to do some additional birding. We walked the trail east of the lighthouse,where conditions were very slow as it continued to rain heavy,but the main began to let up by the time we had returned from the short hike. The only notable species encountered from this area included a flyover Osprey, 3 Orange-crowned Warblers, and 2 adult Golden-crowned Sparrows. Further west 2 Townsend's Solitaires were noted in residential areas along the main road leading back to Hansville.

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit513 at msn.com
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