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General ****
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:26 pm 
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I really want to hear the sound of Loons before I meet my Maker.
I live in SW Washington and am willing to drive, hike and camp just hear the sound of a Loon.
I know of no where to go for this, and would really appreciate information of a lake I could hike into and camp where there are Loons.
Thank you, General **** 2nd Battalion 75th Rangers

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JVesquire
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:30 pm 
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This isn't entirely what you are asking for, but go on a fishing or canoe trip in Minnesota's boundary waters in June. You'll hear the wail of the loon all night and day. PM me if you want some suggestions for guide services.
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Chico
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Information from WDFW on Loons in this state. Not very common.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00341/

Info on counties to narrow your search within the state.

Also this link.
http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/common_loon

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Only loon I have heard in WA were in Hozomeen and North end of Ross Lake excepting on pair I heard on Ozette Lake near Erickson Bay in early spring at dawn. Never heard them there again. Lots in BC in Wells Grey and parks north of Kamaloops.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:39 pm 
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I hear and see them all the time in Idaho, but I can't think of a specific location you'd be most likely to find them at.

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Olympic Hiker
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:46 pm 
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The south Puget Sound in protected harbors, coves and bays. I have heard them in late September and early October. I don't recall hearing loons call any other time of the year. One of my bird books say loons frequent Washington's marine waterways (ocean and Puget Sound) from late summer to spring.

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Ryan©
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:51 pm 
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I have Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Them

For Loons it says:

In Washington

Padilla Bay near Burlington
Westport fishing pier observation point
Willapa Bay near Long Beach
Utsalady Bay on Camano Island
Potlatch State Park on Hood Canal

Now these are wintering birds so they will be gray in colour and they may not be quite as vocal.

They tend to like big lakes in the summer - especially the ones in Canada.  Here is an eBird map which gives you and idea of where they are most often seen and heard.

Pitt Lake seems to be a real hot spot although you can't camp there (unless you have a canoe) Manning Park perhaps - Good luck!

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jackchinook
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 10:01 pm 
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Pack your car up this summer and make a road trip up to interior BC.  Car-camp at a few of the many remote lakes around Kamloops.  Find quiet, but large lakes without many motorboats and/or a lot of people and you're likely to hear and see them every evening/morning.  Trout fishing in the region can also be excellent if you like that sort of thing.
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NWtrax
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 10:02 pm 
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I'm from MN and was surprised as $hit to hear them a few times in the NW, to include as Hes suggested out at Penrose one fall. Sightings out here could be a little hit or miss though. If you really want to hear them sound off, take a trip out to the Boundary Waters in summer as JV suggested.
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Pyrites
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PostWed Feb 11, 2015 11:48 pm 
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The comments about lakes near Kamloops are spot on. Find a fishing resort that rents rowboats. Get one for half a day, and be out till sunset. Go early, June? By resort I mean everything from places that bring you whiskey on the veranda to tent spots with outhouses for Pointers and Setters.
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Feb 12, 2015 8:13 am 
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WA has a good number of Common Loons. I see several each year, most in salt water but I've also seen and heard them on interior lakes. Before settlement of the PNW, Common Loons were common breeders in the interior, but logging and development pushed them out. They are making a comeback, having started nesting in increasing numbers in the past 2 decades.

Bonaparte Lake in Okanogan County has nesting loons. I've camped 2X at Bonaparte USFS campground, 1X in early spring, 1X in May, saw and heard Common Loons both times.

Swan Lake in Ferry County also has nesting loons. My bud and I saw one there in June a couple years ago.

ETA: You'll know it when you hear or see a loon. They superficially look like a grebe, but way way bigger, goose-size, with a big thick long bill.
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RichP
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PostThu Feb 12, 2015 8:15 am 
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I heard a Loon in Lyman Lake.
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treeswarper
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PostThu Feb 12, 2015 10:19 am 
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Bonaparte Lake.  There is a resort and a Forest Service campground right on the lake.  It is to the east of Tonasket.  Amenities in the FS campground are boat launch, water spigots, flushers, vaults, swimming and almost water front sites.

We stayed a few nights the last week of September.  It rained.  I did kayak around the lake.
There is also a trail to hike from the campground and I think it goes up to the lookout on Bonaparte Mt.  Anyway, that trail would be close.  I have only hiked up from the other side.

Lost lake, which is in the same area, might have some.  It is smaller and we didn't like the campground as well.  We did not kayak the pond sized lake but the signs said there were loons.

Here are pictures from Bonaparte Lake.


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wolffie
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PostThu Feb 12, 2015 10:56 am 
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I grew up in Duluth Minnesota.  My uncle took groups of about 10 kids into the Boundary Waters Wilderness several times each summer.  You'd hear loons all the time, but on some occasions it would be particularly special.
Dead-calm full moon night; we'd sacked-out but gradually realized it was too fine a night to sleep.  Deer were walking through camp, and the mice were sliding down the tent from the ridgeline, just  for fun, like skiers.  We were talking in whispers.  That lake (Frazier) had cliffs, so the insane cackling laughs and soul-piercing songs of the loons would echo up and down the lake, and we could hear the slapping of their feet in their takeoff runs -- part of their courtship ritual I think -- they are very big birds with heavy wing-loading so it takes them a while to get airborne.
I got to see some loons up close while cleaning oiled birds after a spill up around Whidbey.  They are really big, with wicked-looking beaks.

I really miss the eastern deciduous forest.  Out here, there are no small birds at all by comparison.  Northern MN has over 50 species of small things, and the woods suddenly come alive in May and June; birding was a real challenge.  Once I dropped some good acid on a solo backpack on the Kekabic Trail at the peak of the spring migration -- an all-day quadraphonic sound show, better than any rock concert, saw 4 new warblers and learned a lot of songs.   It was also the first week of the bug hatch (they sell mosquito insurance out there).  I found my  tiny aerosol can of insect repellent to be empty.  No tent.  I had to jump into the beaver pond wearing all my clothes so I'd be wet and cool enough to pull the mummy bag tightly around my lips at night.  Pulled 13 ticks out of one sock at a break.  Got chased off the trail by a moose.  Got to watch beavers working on their dam.
Paddled 265 miles from Rainy Lake to Grand Portage once, too -- that's the old fur trade route, chosen as the border because both U.S. and Canada wanted access to the lucrative fur trade.

The calls of the loons are a constant backdrop to all of this.

We'd go up there and see nobody.  Now you need a reservation.  Breaks my heart.
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Phil
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PostThu Feb 12, 2015 10:59 am 
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JVesquire wrote:
This isn't entirely what you are asking for, but go on a fishing or canoe trip in Minnesota's boundary waters

This.  Something everyone should do at least once in their life.
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