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My first Common Loon Gavia immer of the season was at Benbrook Lake, near Fort Worth, Texas on October 27, 2003. At rest it looked to be fairly typical of an adult, having an unmarked blackish back and hindneck. However, when it took off, it showed an obvious dark vent strap. In November 2002 I had agonized over a distant loon that was probably a small Common, but eventually it flew straight over me and it had an obvious vent strap, leaving me wondering if it might have been a bulky Pacific, as I could find no reference to Common Loons having a vent strap. Now that I have obtained photos of this 2nd such bird, I've searched the WWW for images - I could only find two that showed the vent, and both were unmarked: