Unexpected is Good, Right?

Getting a great shot of a bird that you often see is fulfilling, but getting a not-so-great shot of a Double-Crested Cormorant in breeding colors

is almost as exciting. I see these kinds of cormorants quite often, but I don’t think I have ever seen them in breeding plumage before. If I have seen them in breeding plumage before, it’s never been close enough to see the crests or the odd coloring on the beak.

One reason I return to Westport often is that I am apt to see birds there that I’ve never seen elsewhere. I think I have seen a Pacific Loon

once or twice before, but it’s always a treat, even if it is too far away to get a good shot and the sun is behind it instead of behind me.

At first this was “dismissed” as a very distant Common Loon, but the round head convinced me that it was something else. After waiting around for nearly a half hour it came close enough to get a shot of the distinctive stripes on the neck.

The neck should definitely be gray, not black, either the result of shadows or changes from winter plumage to breeding plumage.

What do you think?

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