Sunday morning from my deck I noticed a loon about half a mile offshore, through my 10x binoculars. I grabbed my spotting scope and telephoto lens and headed to the edge of the bluff to get a better view. The bright white on its face, throat and sides made it relatively easy to spot with the naked eye despite the challenging distance.
After a series of unsharp photos and a half-hour of observing it through the scope, It became clear that it was a Red-throated Loon as opposed to the more common, albeit out-of-season Common Loon. It's another addition to the yard list, bringing it to 156. I actually did a calculation of the loons distance and came up with a distance of 2800 feet. The bird was so small in the full frame that the photo would have to have been enlarged up to 10 feet by 15 feet in order for the loon to be 2.5" in length. And that was with a 500mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter.
Just before the loon appeared I had a first-of-the-year Purple Finch visit my feeder. The year list for the yard is at 55 about 15 ahead of this point last year.