Bird Photography Weekly-Yellow-billed Loon

I have been to Alaska on business trips a number of times and have always managed to scrape together some time to add on a birding excursion or two.   The last time I was there, I had an unexpected bonus.  I had booked a 1/2 day boat trip around the bay (this would be my first time back on the water after the disastrous trip in California).  It was in June and still bitterly cold out, or at least I thought so.  There were 15 of us huddled together inside the tiny cabin peering out through the wide windows.  There was talk in town about an immature Yellow-billed Loon being found, but then it had disappeared.  Apparently they were around, but not common.  I asked the captain of our boat if there was any chance that we would see it.  He didn’t sound hopeful. Oh, well. We all shrugged. He offered the possibility of an Aleutian Tern. We all happily abandoned the Loon for the Tern.

Coming back into the harbor after a terrific day of seeing amazing birds, we were all chatting about what we had seen where; when the oddest, palest loon I have ever seen was suddenly next to the boat. It popped up, then disappeared and reappeared a little ways away.  We all rushed to the back of the boat.  The captain swung the boat around in a wide arc and just when we had given up; the loon popped up right beside the boat.  Sweet!  Talk about icing on the Cake!  Have you been to Alaska yet?

To see other birds check out Bird Photography Weekly.

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14 Comments

Filed under Photos, Travel

14 responses to “Bird Photography Weekly-Yellow-billed Loon

  1. How cool…I really want to go to Alaska..
    We have been fulltiming for seven years now..and seems like each summer we want to go there is some event that prevents us..
    when we go we want to be there from may to september….a long span of time..but since we will be driving the Homey up there we want to stay as long as possible before the deep freeze comes…

  2. What a wonderful bonus, lucky you! Geat shot too.

  3. Really neat, Bev. I take it that yellow-billed loons are a rarity in/around Alaska coastline. Or at least they aren’t commonly found.

  4. Lucky you! Great bird and great trip.

  5. Now that was serendipituous! We’ve never been to Alaska but maybe someday we will.

  6. Nice find. I think I may have seen one in WA State before, but the only other times I have seen the Yellow Billed Loons was when I was in Alaska too. They are almost like an enhanced version of the other loons with their bright bills.

  7. sounds like your work takes you to some wonderful, birdy places. i’ve never seen any species of loon, but i sure admire their beauty and haunting calls. glad you caught a glimpse and even got a picture to share as well. thanks!

  8. No, have not been to Alaska yet, darn it all. It’s high up on my bucket list though.

  9. I’ve been to alaska (honeymoon) but certainly didn’t get any Yellow-billed Loons – very cool!!!

  10. That’s a great birding moment! Extra special that you have photos as well.

  11. Very beautiful bird. Nice photo. :)))

  12. Red

    Ok, so how can I get myself attached to a business trip to Alaska??? I’ve been there twice and need to go back again 😀

    Glad you got that loon!

  13. Wow Bev! How cool is that? Popped up right next to the boat! Don’t you love it when things like that happen? I do. Great capture too.

    The Alaska trip is definitely on my agenda, just not sure when 😉

  14. My business trips have never taken me to Alaska. Humm. Maybe it’s time to start planning one.

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