An oiled Red-throated Loon was swimming around a local lake on Thursday and Friday. My girlfriend and I had just finished discussing whether or not it could be rescued from the water, when it swam directly towards us and clumsily hauled itself out of the water. That made rescuing the bird a more realistic proposition and we quickly made a call to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. Thankfully, the loon showed no signs of returning to the water, and within ten minutes a volunteer arrived and was able to easily capture the bird. Hopefully it is now much cleaner and on its way back to the wild.
Thankfully the fire settled down over the weekend and this allowed me to get back to photographing the birds around Lake Los Carneros. I had planned on getting out of town for some part of the weekend, but the need to catch up on sleep made me change my mind. Several walks around the lake turned up a bunch of oddities, presumably due to the fire. Of note was a lone Band-tailed Pigeon flying from tree to tree on the western side of the lake. As seen below, there was also a lone Bonaparte’s Gull which unfortunately had tar covering its belly. Stranger still, was the large Koi seen swimming around the lake.
“Bonaparte’s Gull” – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA
I saw a rather unusual bird today, at least for Lake Los Carneros. It looks to be a Red-throated Loon, but I’m no expert at these things. I wouldn’t have had a chance to attempt an ID if the nearby fire department hadn’t gone out on a call. The siren temporarily raised the loon from its slumber and gave me a brief chance to get a better look at its head and neck. I also saw a pair of Buffleheads and managed to grab a distant flight shot of the male.
“Red-throated Loon” – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA
“Resting Loon” – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA
“Bufflehead in Flight” – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA