[Tweeters] Arctic Loon today at Brownmead,Oregon

Bob Flores rflores_2 at msn.com
Mon Dec 10 19:17:09 PST 2007

Here's the story it factual and colorful.

I showed up about 11:15 am at the Barendse Rd Bridge (Blind Slough) and did a quick glass form the auto from atop the bridge. Not seeing the bird but several other loons in the distance I parked and walked to one end of the bridge to scope. Just about then Mike Patterson pulls up and we chat about his exploits the day before. I mentioned what I had seen and the one loon I had just noticed before he showed up just under the bridge. The loon was directly in the sun glare and I could not ID it and avoided permanent blindness. I mentioned the bird to Mike and he said awe it is a red-throated. I accepted it and continued to gaze to the farthest reaches of the slough for the Arctic. Mike moved on to do a raptor count. Not happy with what I was seeing so I moved to the center of the bridge and began scoping away at the before hidden cove that Mike said the bird was found in the afternoon before. As I gazed I noticed a movement below me and thought the red-throated loon. I looked down and my eyes bulged so far out I almost lost my glasses in the slough. There below me and only 20 yards away was the Arctic Loon. I could see everything on the bird with my naked eye. Just then the little jokester in my head said "the camera is in the car". I took off at a brisk pace and as I did so I watched the loon swim away. I left the scope sitting on the bridge and prayed that some big ole farmer truck full of hay would not come over the bridge and mutilate it. I grabbed the camera and noted a road along the Slough so I followed the loon to the hidden cove (which by the way is seen clearly from the boat launch!) and had taken several decent photos that show the characters of the loon. I was happy but I am not sure about these cameras for as with a junky on dope they make you throw caution to the wind just to get that photo. I say this as I thought of my scope sitting up there on the bridge.

But alas I did see the bird. Mike and I saw it again in the hidden cove later and determined that it moved with the tide as it started moving toward the bridge again. High tide was at 12:30 pm and I saw the bird at the bridge at about 1 hour before high tide.

Also at Brownmead Grange there is a road that goes to the right and on it I saw a white-tailed kite. Mike told me about it.

Bob Flores
Ridgefield, WA

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