Loon in Shadow Cliffs? need help with ID, please.


ireddy@...
 

Hello everyone,

I saw this unfamiliar bird on the far end of the lake in Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton, so I took a few photos. Due to the distance, they are very poor quality but I am pretty sure it is a loon. I have never seen a loon before so I can't tell which type it is. I'd love your feedback. Common Loons have been sighted a few times before in Shadow Cliffs. I put my photos under loon sp.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S96562326

Thank you,

Isabelle Reddy
Instagram @oiseaulune_


Teale Fristoe
 

Hi Isabelle,

Looks like you do have a Common Loon there. Nice! Always a good find inland.

Identifying winter loons is really tough, one of our most difficult id challenges. Here are a few features that make me lean towards Common.
- Blocky head shape with a peak in front of the bird's eye.
- White eye arcs over a dark face.
- Overall dark appearance and thick bill rule out Red-throated.
- White on flanks and speckled back rule out Pacific, which is the least likely out of the three.
Timing is also a good hint, as it's still early for Red-throated or Pacific.

Happy birding,
Teale Fristoe
Berkeley


On Fri, Oct 22, 2021 at 4:42 PM ireddy via groups.io <ireddy=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello everyone,

I saw this unfamiliar bird on the far end of the lake in Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton, so I took a few photos. Due to the distance, they are very poor quality but I am pretty sure it is a loon. I have never seen a loon before so I can't tell which type it is. I'd love your feedback. Common Loons have been sighted a few times before in Shadow Cliffs. I put my photos under loon sp.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S96562326

Thank you,

Isabelle Reddy
Instagram @oiseaulune_




ireddy@...
 

Thank you Teale for this very detailed ID feedback.
I am looking forward to see more loons and learn more about these birds.
I will make the change on my ebird listing to Common Loon.
Have a nice weekend,

Isabelle
Instagram @oiseaulune_