A couple of days ago the BirdNet in my area was reporting the sighting of a Yellow-billed Loon on a nearby reservoir. Detailed descriptions of where it could be found on the lake, how to get there, who had seen it, and when were regularly reported. I finally made it up to the lake to take a look around on a cold, windy, rainy day. The last positive report came the night before I went over. A couple saw it fly off over the mountain, possibly continuing on its migration. But I knew if I didn't go over and take a look I would regret it. What if it hadn't continued on yet? What if it was still around?
So over I went. I scanned the lake. Grebes, mallards. A harrier flew by. There was a plethora of yellow-rumped warblers, and a few yellow warblers in the shrubs. After scanning for nearly 30 minutes, with no sign of any loon, anywhere, I decided to head back. I was frozen. On my last look around before heading out, something caught my eye. It was a loon alright. A closer look revealed the distinctly black bill. Ah well. I was happy to see this guy; even the common loons aren't all that common in this area. So I felt my trip wasn't in vain at least on that note, and I spent another 15 or 20 minutes watching him until my hands were ice blocks.
Other birds seen during this short jaunt were a sharpie or coopers hawk (couldn't tell), western meadowlark, osprey, killdeer, sandhill crane, kestrel, red-winged blackbird, brewer's blackbird, and magipe.