As I start to get out more and more in my quest to see more birds, I’ve noticed that my abilities in spotting and identifying different birds quickly have increased. Case in point, today for instance. Sunday afternoon 2 birders, one being Allan Claybon, spotted a Pacific Loon near Harveysburg Road. So what happens. I start obsessing about it.
I call Phil Burgio to see if he’d want to join me and tracking down the Loon. After getting off work, I called Ethan to get my spotting scope and my 12 x 50 binoculars up in the kitchen, so when I got home all I would have to do is pick them up and go. Phil meet me at my house, and we booked for the lake.
Setting up at the foot of the road we meet other birders from Akron and Wellington Ohio. After spotting several Common Loons, the gentleman from Akron was checking out 2 Loons on the other side of the lake. Which is far away needless to say. Zooming in as close as my scope would allow we watched what appeared to be the Pacific Loon . What helped in us making a good ID, was the fact that a Common Loon was very close to it. So comparing it to the smaller Pacific Loon did the trick. Granted we all wish that it was closer, but you play the hand you’re dealt.
Also we spotted 3 Eared Grebes. Yet, another new bird for me. So as I previously mentioned in the beginning of this post, study your field marks. Know the shape and size of the bird your looking at, and compare it to known species. Today the wind was picking up and the water was a little choppy. So knowing that it is a smaller bird and the coloration on the head was the deciding factor. My fellow birders from up North weren’t nearly as confident in their abilities. Trust your abilities.