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Red-throated Loon at Sinking Ponds

Published June 01, 2012
Tags: Life List Happenings, Red-throated Loon, Belted Kingfisher, Great-Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Canada Goose, Red-winged Blackbird, Sinking Ponds, East Aurora, NY

Our bird list received a report of a Red-throated Loon at Sinking Ponds in neighboring East Aurora, NY.  In spite of the dismal forecast, I decided to plan for an early morning attempt to find this life-list addition.  I was at Sinking Ponds just before 6:30 AM and spotted the loon right away.  Beautiful!  I never got a very good photo of it, but my binoculars gave me wonderful views.

As I hiked around the pond hoping to find a heron, I not only got some very nice views of 3 Great Blues, but I had a prolonged study of a female Belted Kingfisher.  I have really been so hoping to see one of these cool, cool birds again!  This beauty perched and fished for a very long time and I enjoyed every minute of it.  She was actually the highlight of my morning - especially when she caught a minnow in the pond and I got to watch the whole thing!  Her rattling call was what first tipped me off to her presence - a sound I'll not soon forget from my very first sighting of a Belted Kingfisher at Amherst State Park.  I didn't get any photos on that trip, but I blogged about my experience here: Amherst State Park - Warblers!.

Other than the Great Blue Herons, the Belted Kingfisher, my life list addition of the Red-throated Loon, I also got to see those beautiful Wood Ducks again, some Canada Goose, and of course, the ubiquitous Red-winged Blackbird and American Robin.  I heard a Northern Flicker but never did lay eyes on him.

The 2 photos of the Red-throated Loon are a little embarrassing to post because of their very poor quality, but I'm adding them anyway just to prove I saw this guy!  I wish it hadn't been such a drippy, rainy morning and that he had come a lot closer to where I was.  This guy likes the middle of the pond!
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Red-throated Loon
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Red-throated Loon and a Great Blue Heron (upper right)
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Great Blue Heron
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Great Blue Heron
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Great Blue Heron gliding to the other side of the pond
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Great Blue Heron gliding away
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Female Belted Kingfisher
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Female Belted Kingfisher
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Wood Duck
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Wood Duck