Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-11

Common name:

Red-throated Loon

Scientific name: Gavia stellata
Date: 11-8-03
Time: 3:00 pm
Length of time observed: 45 min.
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Location: Gunlock Res.
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 50 yards
Optical equipment: 10x42 B&L Elites, Kowa Scope 20 60 zoom
Weather: Breazy, partly cloudy
Light Conditions: Good afternoon light
Detailed description of bird: It was a loon that was smaller and paler than the Common loons that were also there that day. The birds head was pale gray and still had part of the red throat patch from breeding plumage.The bill was thin looking and most of the time the bird held it's head with the bill tilted upward. The back was gray and had white spotting.There was an area of white on the sides that could be seen at times.When I first saw the bird it was in flight and it looked small with a thin neck,head and bill.It also was holding it's head down like a R T Loon will in fight. (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: It was observed swimming around and diving for fish in the Res..
Habitat: Man made Res.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The Common loons that were also there that day were much larger had darker backs,larger head and bill and white on the throat with the distinct partial collar on the side of the throat.

Pacific Loons have a darker back and a white throat and most have a dark necklace or at least a hint of one. They usually look short necked
with a rounded (paler than the back) head and a short bill. And the throat would never look like the bird I saw.

Yellow-billed would be a very larged bird not smaller than the Common's that very there to compare this bird with.

Arctic Loon could show the white on the sides but again the white throat just wouldn't fit this bird.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have watched a lot of Loons in flight and on the water in all plumages from piers in California. Also on several Pelagic trips.
References consulted: Sibley Guide and National Geographic
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl. Central,UT. 84722
Observer's e-mail address: LTRIPP29@HOTMAIL.COM
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Rick Fridell, Who also has Photos.
Date prepared: 5-31-04    (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: