[mou] Red-Throated Loon at Lake Osakis/Others

JELLISBIRD at aol.com JELLISBIRD at aol.com
Sun Apr 20 17:11:50 CDT 2008

    My car broke down and my brother came from Mankato to pick me up but we 
managed to swing by Lake Osakis and spotted a young Red-Throated Loon at the 
Douglas/Todd County line. (Douglas 10 at Douglas 73 and Todd ?) There is a small 
river that flows into Osakis in Todd County that has enlarged the water edge 
of the ice covering on the lake to a substantial degree. We pulled in to the 
public access in Douglas County (40 yard edge of water) and the loon got up and 
flew N NE a short distance and sat down again. As it flew its head was 
carried lower than the body and the overall effect was a small washed out grey loon.
    We picked up the loon in Todd County waters where it was preening and 
foraging. Associated with it in the same area were C. Loons, a Western Grebe and 
a Red-Necked Grebe. The Loon was about 2/3 the size of the C. Loons and had a 
fairly long neck, superficially similar in look to the Western Grebe, but 
larger. Its bill was dark and was carried in a slightly upturned fashion (it also 
had a slight upturned crook on the lower part of the bill which accentuated 
this look. The bill was pointed and somewhat fine, the eye was dark. The loon 
had medium grey on the top of the face and the back of the neck. The body was 
largely grey with no white above the water-line but it had a white underside. 
The lower part of the face was whitish compared with the top; the chin was a 
darker grey. There was a buffy-red wash on the front of the upper part of the 
throat. Unusual ? were darker patches on both sides of the neck from about 
half-way down the neck to about 3/4 of the way down the neck. These patches were not 
connected to anything else that was grey; they were surrounded by white. 
There was also a smaller spot of dark grey on the lower part of the front of the 
neck, well above the water line...but low...also surrounded by white. Neither 
Sibley nor Nat. Geog show a plate that looks identical to the bird I saw, but 
it looks to be an amalgam of juvenile, 1st winter and non-breeding Red-Throated 
loon in plumage. Carriage and shape of the bill and the lowered head in 
flight confirm Red-Throated Loon (with plumage I have not seen before.)
    Also had a brown Thrasher in Douglas yesterday.

    John Ellis-St. Paul<BR><BR><BR>**************<BR>Need a new ride? Check 
out the largest site for U.S. used car listings at AOL Autos.<BR>      

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