Excellent find! I have very little experience with Y-b Loons, but I was
able to observe the YBLO that visited Hinckley Res. in Upstate NY in the
winter of 1999. Angus Wilson has photos and a nice write-up of it at:
< http://www.oceanwanderers.com/YBLO.html >
I was able to observe the bird at ~150 yards for several hours on two
different days. To me, it was immediately obvious that it was different
than a Common Loon. When I first spotted it, it was over 1/8 mile away, and
it looked like the bird was waving a big, yellow sword in the air. While a
different plumage and age, the bill size and shape of the VT bird certainly
fits YBLO. The Hinckley Res. bird generally seemed to hold its bill at more
of an upward angle than the photos of the VT bird seem to show, but I doubt
this is enough to rule out a YBLO.
FWIW, my impression is that the VT bird is indeed a YBLO. This and $3.00
will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Dana C. Rohleder
Port Kent, NY