High Winds and an Unexpected Loon

Winds were fierce through the night, topping out with 53 mph sustained winds on the 3:53 observation (81 mph gust) and a gust of 86 mph the 4:53 am update (though down to 37 mph sustained). The breeze was still quite stiff when the kids and I walked down to Totem Park later in the morning. Park trails were closed due to high winds, so we just walked down the beach a ways before heading back. The play of light as sun rays illuminated rain squalls through small gaps in the clouds. It might have been nice to get some video (straight or maybe time lapse) – but conditions weren’t so inspiring for hanging out in the open very long.

Later this afternoon I heard a report of a Red-throated Loon on Swan Lake. I made a quick stop at the lake and grabbed some pictures of it, but will write it up in a separate post.

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Juvenile Red-throated Loon

I noticed an odd loon at the entrance to Sealing Cove while walking to class this afternoon. It was too far out to get very good photos, but I took a bunch hoping to confirm my suspicion that it was a Red-throated Loon. It is the first Red-throated Loon I’ve seen in winter and recognized at the time, although it was only later I realized it must be a first winter bird.

Read moreJuvenile Red-throated Loon