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Thread subject: Heads up, Pam, B.C. birding here...
Name Date Message
martyc35 01/02/12 07:53 pm Matching Mole took a trip up to B.C. during the holidays, and he has THIS diary up with photos (mostly birds, but of Vancouver Island, too). I told him I would share with you (and everyone here, of course). Happy New Year,
Shelley 01/02/12 10:02 pm Marty, thanks for this. I always enjoy MM's posts and journals. I am not sure I agree with his first photo, though. Common loons have totally black heads (no white patches under the neck, as his looks to have) and much longer beaks. Also, they are quite prominently speckled on their backs. Maybe this was a juvenile, though, I don't know
Trishrg 01/02/12 10:49 pm Shelley- This is what a Common Loon looks like after it molts out of it's breeding plumage. This is the winter look!!!

Great diary!!!
Shelley 01/03/12 09:27 am Wow, thanks, Trish, I had no idea. Learn something new every day!
Melanie 01/03/12 12:22 pm I'm with you on that, Shelly - looks more like a non-breeding red-throated loon?
martyc35 01/03/12 06:29 pm Well,, I have relayed your discussion to MM (in the diary), and they are mulling over the loon question. marty
Shelley 01/03/12 09:24 pm Wow, marty, thanks. I did some googling, myself and found this pic when I searched juvenile common loon. MM was right, it seems. Although his pic isn't as sharp a focus as this one, it does appear to be the same:

juvenile common loon

Should never have second-guessed MM! ;-)

This is what I had in my head as my point of comparison, before thinking about the juvvie. Note the colouring and long pointy beak):

adult common loon
martyc35 01/04/12 12:01 am Thank you! MM will be relieved to see the whitish coloring on that juvie's beak. He said he was actually looking for a red-throated loon when he took that pic, but he didin't think that was it. I think you have solved the puzzle, Shelley.
Pam 01/04/12 07:48 am Thanks Marty....just catching up ! MM should have used his time in Vancouver to visit Boundary Bay (not far from the airport) where maybe he could have seen the Snowy owls. Our friend (absent friend these days - hint) Marie took some photos of these stunning birds recently. It really is amazing how you can travel in Canada, miles of beautiful scenery and ...not a bird in sight. The problem is that they have so much space and vegetation in which to hide. I'm really looking forward to the Spring and the return of the Ospreys and the Loons, although at my age I never like to wish time away, it's too precious.
I just finished yet another year documenting the wildlife at Race Rocks. I will continue doing a yearly diary while I can. I have tried to keep it to under 500 pics for the year, which isn't easy for me, but I have to be more selective. The past year was a quiet one in many ways. My favourite elephant seal, Slash, has not returned and I fear we will not see him again. Last time I saw him he looked old and white around the face and he was being pestered by a young female who finally got the message that he was not interested when he took her in his jaws and set her aside. I miss that animal very much. So now Misery, so named because of his miserable, aggressive nature, has taken over. The new ecoguardian wants to call him Mystery because he likes him but I don't think he has seen all the murderous attacks this animal has carried out on the young and female of his species. I know it is natural behaviour but Slash was much more tolerant.
Anyway ... I know I am an RR bore !!!! Here is the album if you want to take a look for yourself:
2011 Race Rocks photos
There is an underwater camera now on the website and they are hoping to get the new Cam 5 installed at the end of this month. Cam 1 is situated on top of the lighthouse so not so much detail is possible.
Celeste 01/04/12 08:46 am Thanks for the update Pam. Was wondering if you were still watching. I'm saving your photos to "savor" after some errands!
martyc35 01/04/12 12:59 pm Thank you, Pam. You missed the big loon discussion, but I think we finally got it resolved. Yes, I will definitely look at your new album. Misery's behavior sounds desecrable (always wanted to use that word, so I hope I'm using it correctly). Are you saying that Marie is there, visiting, or were you over here in N. Amer.? Great to hear from you, and Happy New Year!
Celeste 01/05/12 05:03 am Pam, Magnificent! Loved how you did it by month. What a wonderful "coffee table" book it would make! Must have been very hard to choose. Oh that Misery what a character! Can't even pick a favorite, all were so very interesting! Thank you always!

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