For those of you interested: I started a thread on ID-Frontiers about
the reliability of the flank patch as a discriminator between the two
loon species. Responses have begun to appear. If you are interested just
go to birdingonthenet then ID Frontiers.
Also, for those who may be interested in the ID of Richardson's cackling
geese, I posted a photo of one really nice little individual
(photographed yesterday at Turner's Falls, Mass)on my website. Go to
www.hgbirder.org then to "other birds" and click on the thumbnail. This
photo, I think, gives a good impression of the size difference with
Canadas, the paler grey mantle coloration, and the head and bill shape.
Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
837 Camp Arden Rd., Dummerston, VT05301
802 258 4836 (phone)