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Yellow-billed Loon - May 5, 2007

Yellow-billed Loon at Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA
Providing a long-anticipated first state record, this confiding Yellow-billed Loon was discovered on the west bank of the Susquehanna River across from Harrisburg by Cameron Rutt on May 4. It remained in the same area the next day and was enjoyed by at least 100 birders. Keeping the company of six Common Loons also on the river these two days, the Yellow-billed spent the majority of its time in close proximity to the river bank just south of the West Fairview boat launch, much to the delight of the scads of onlookers who turned out to witness this mega-rarity.
The photos below were taken on the morning of the 5th, and obviously, backlighting was an issue. With the bird hugging the west bank of the river, camera lenses had to be pointed east and into the sun. Afternoon lighting would have been much better, but still, it's hard to get upset when presented with an opportunity to see something as rare as this so close to home.


At one point I decided to stop trying to fight the backlight and do what one traditionally does when faced with that situation -- silhouettes. The photo below actually is my favorite of the day, even though it stinks when considered as rare bird documentation. I particularly like the direct profile showing the distinct shape of the head and bill, and the very subtle yellow highlight at the bill tip caused by the sunlight glowing through.


Unless explicitly indicated otherwise in the photo caption, all photos on this website were taken by and are 2003-2013 by Geoff Malosh. Unauthorized usage of these photographs for any purpose is strictly forbidden. If you are interested in using any photo for publication or if you are interested in obtaining a print, contact me at pomarine -AT- earthlink -DOT- net.