Common LoonApril 6, 2008

The previous time I had seen a common loon was perhaps a dozen years ago by Orient Point, the north fork of Long Island's tail. When common loons were reported in the relatively nearby Colyer Lake, Sue and I went there on a bright Saturday. (Is Colyer Lake part of the outskirts of State College? Whatever, it's a good destination for migrating waterfowl.)

As we arrived and got out of our car, a trio of common loons were flying over the lake, and I took some immediate photos.

Common loon flying overhead
  Sue and I felt a little sad that the loons didn't land, but as we looked over the lake, we saw first one and then another and another. There were also small groups at the far side.
Four common loons

We counted 13 common loons swimming in Colyer Lake that afternoon.

The common loon is a striking black and white bird; however, I noticed the neck ring on nearby loons was a different color: teal. I don't know whether the teal ring is a temporary feature (that is, turns to black).

Common loon
  The loons didn't limit themselves to flying, swimming, and diving. One or the other for no apparent reason would break out into a splashing run.
Common loon running

Decidely a good day at Colyer.

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens, on March 30, 2008, for these photos.

Common loon snack   ||   Common loons at play

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