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LOON-y Tunes

From last week:   No cold weather...the sun was out, shining brightly. A wonderful, lovely, South Texas winter day. Of course, Bud and I went walking along the fresh water lakes between Portland and Corpus Christi. What made it all the more tranquil was for the fact, there was hardly a soul other than the two of us around. Quiet. The shoreline was nearly covered with Redheaded ducks at one area...the rock outcropping by the fishing pier was active with terns and sea gulls. The bay sparkled like diamonds.
Naturally, I scanned the gentle rippling water after taking a few photos of the terns and ducks and....





I thought I spotted a loon at the end of the pier. Since there were no fishermen on the pier, Bud and I walked out to the very end and waited for what I thought I had seen just minutes ago while still on land. Yes!! It was a loon!!! And so up close and personal. Just feet away from me and my camera lens.

Most often, if the loons are spotted, they're at such a far distance and so active in hunting its meal....underwater, that getting a decent photo of them is nigh-on to impossible. I stood and waited for it to resurface again. This time, it had swam beneath the sea for some long yardage and I made use of my zoom...but, by the time I got a good focus on it, it dived. I waited some more. I love to hear them when they call out to each other. Such a melancholy, lonely sound!! And so beautiful at the same time!!! ...LISTEN... Out, quite a way from the end of the pier, I spotted a sea bird silhouette...a ring billed sea gull! I snapped a photo. As I took a picture of the gull, the loon resurfaced nearby!! Then, to my disbelief, a second loon! And then, a third!! This time, through the camera's viewfinder and zoom...I see a MALE common loon. Even tho it's not breeding season, the male and female can have differing plumage! The male has a lot more neck stripes while the female is more plain white breasted and gray. One, farther out in the bay came up from its diving hunt with a fish/shrimp?... Bud was on the opposite side of the pier as I watched the water birds and took more photos. When we returned to leave along the straight end of the pier, he told me he saw two loons also. That made a total of five which is unusual. Mostly, if luck would hold out two can be seen together. But five accounted for and perhaps more that remained unseen in the vicinity. Honestly, I got the best photos of them to date. I'll share one here, but the best ones, I'll add to my birding photo blog in time.




We returned to the car and drove to the other side of the lakes to walk the Sunset Lakes Trail. The wind picked up to a slight breeze. Still balmy and gorgeous with cloud dappled sky. Along the pathway, I spotted sanderlings, egrets, spoonbills, bufflehead ducks, dunlins, herons, plovers and more. One egret, with the gusts now and then, made its preening comical....a bad hair day. Those photos are hilarious. I don't know if the egret was grumpy or embarrassed by its messy 'do'...but they're fun to view. With those photos, I'll make another post sometime soon.

35 comments :

  1. Oh, what fun!
    Have a great week!
    Lea

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    1. It was a bit of excitement for a few hours!! Thanks, have a great week too, Lea

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  2. Sounds like a perfect day. Love the shot of the loon. Gibbs was quite intrigued by the clip of the loon. I played it for him a few times just to see his head twist one way then the other.

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    1. Oh my....I do like your style Ann. Poor Gibbs. But, what a hoot.

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  3. Hi Anni, what a great outing. I love the Redheaded Duck and the Loon. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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    1. Thanks!!! Enjoy your week ahead too, Eileen.

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  4. I love the sound of the loon's call. Every once in awhile we get one around here, I know because of the call, but I haven't seen one lately. When I lived in Michigan and stayed at a cabin on Lake Superior, I heard them often in the summer time. Glad to know there are more pictures to come! :-)

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    1. Oh yes, Michigan [and any state up north] is a great area for loons!!

      Thanks D J

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  5. I didn't realize loons would be this far south, as I think of them in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Great picture of the redheaded duck, Anni.

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    1. Yep...Loons winter down here.

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  6. Ah, the best of days and such a great post and photos as always, Anni!! Such a delightful way to start my day!! After a gorgeous, rain free day yesterday, the gray and wet is back again and they're predicting the rain for the remainder of the month!!! I suspect I'll be moss-covered myself by then!!! Have a great new week!! Enjoy!!

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    1. Rain? For a whole month?!! Oh my.
      Thanks for always being so positive when you come visit with me Sylvia. Your comments are always appreciated.

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  7. I can sense your excitement on seeing these Loons. I know that feeling.I get very excited when i get to see and hear them.

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    1. They're so unique, in pattern, size, shape AND their call!!

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  8. I've only ever seen one pair of loons in my lifetime and have never heard them. I would have loved to watch YOU as you were taking those photos! I feel your excitement!

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    1. I was excited...since they were so close to the pier!!!
      I hope you 'listened' to them from the link I provided.

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  9. What a lovely time you and hubby had ~ wonderful photography ~ all are so beautiful!

    Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

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  10. What a great outing - you got some good shots!

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  11. we get Loons/Divers we call them in winter and I was teaching my clas about them yesterday.

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    1. Now, that is ironic, isn't it?!!!

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  12. oh, it sounds like an exciting morning! it is always fun spotting something rare + unusual! wishing you a beautiful week!

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    1. I was definitely excited to see so many and so close!!! Thanks, have a beautiful week ahead too, Jandi.

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  13. Great post! The mournful call of the loon...beautiful! Loved seeing your photos and reading the narrative.

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    1. Yes, mournful. Thanks Marie

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  14. Oh wow....a loon..I would love to see one as you have.. Hope the New year is treating you well Anni... Oh my header photo is not mine..wish it was.. it is one that I bought to use... Michelle

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    1. ....oh but it's so pretty!!!

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  15. Again, really great wildlife photography. Thanks for sharing with "Through my Lens".

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  16. How exciting! I've never seen a loon!

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  17. Wonderful photos.

    Thanks for visiting.

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  18. Calling by to return your Saturday Critter's visit to my blog. Thanks for the invite to link up, I am not very good at capturing birds bit loved yours and the other entries,

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