It seems fair, by Eric's reckoning, that if the bird shows the flank patch, it can be safely called arctica, although an absence of white flanks is not necessarily indicative that it is NOT arctica. Has anybody photographed this bird yet?

Eric Masterson <[log in to unmask]> wrote: I have seen many Arctic in Europe and the flank patch is not a reliable
feature in so far as it is not uncommon for individuals to lack this
field mark.

Eric Masterson
New Hampshire Audubon
Phone 224-9909 ext. 307

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>>> [log in to unmask] 11/07/2007 12:59 PM >>>
In his book, Peter Dunne writes about distinguishing Arctic from

"In all plumages, Arctic Loon shows a triangular or wedge-shaped white

flank patch bulging prominently above the water line just in front of 
the tail.  
All other considerations....are virtually insignificant.  Just use the

flank patch.  It works. 
In winter, however, Pacific Loon often shows a shadowy 'chin strap'.  
Arctic does not....
NOTE:  If the demarcation between the dark upper parts and white 
underparts is a straight, horizontal line, the bird is Pacific. If the

white flank swells above and behind the wing, it's Arctic.  If you're 
not sure, it's Pacific."

Gregory Askew wrote:
> Just an idea...not having seen the birds in question myself...but in
> full-length Sibley there's a head shot of what seems to be a
> variation of immature plumage in the Pacific Loon...lacking the chin
> of the adult winter and regular immature plumage and resembling
perhaps a
> slightly smaller version of an Arctic Loon. There hasn't been any
> as of yet concerning positive identification of these birds. At the
> least, two Pacific Loons would certainly still be worth the trip.
> G
> Vergennes
> On 11/7/07, Taj  wrote:
>> This sighting doesn't seem to be generating the excitement it
>> deserves.  As far as I know, yesterday at least one, possibly two,
>> experienced birders refound the probable Arctic loon sitting
>> another loon which they ID'd as a Pacific Loon. There is potentially
>> Pacific and an ARctic loon up on the Lake! I can't get up to the
lake until
>> this weekend, but i would strongly encourage birders to look for
this bird
>> and document it as best they can. As far as i know no one has taken
>> of this bird. There are no accepted sightings of Arctic loon
anywhere on the
>> east coast.
>> This is a great find by David Hoag and let's hope it sticks around
>> enough for more birders to see it.
>> Good birding.
>> Taj
>> Taj Schottland
>> Putney, VT
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