Wednesday, April 8 2009 9:48pm

Calm evening     34 degrees    FULL moon/clear sky 

We grow ever closer to the start of a new season of loon watching!

Hopefully you and your friends will join us.  And hopefully the loons will once again agree to use the nesting platform and allow us to be silent observers into the wonder of watching them as they build the nest, lay their eggs and hopefully hatch 2 new chicks this year.

But everything is out of our control except putting out the nesting platform.

Then it is all up to the loons.

Tonight the lake is calm and quiet and the wind has quit.  But the noise from the seagulls on the lake is almost deafening.  There are THOUSANDS of them on the lake.  All of them waiting for the ice to go out on lakes farther north.  Then they will leave and make their way to the northern lakes of Minnesota and Canada.  But for now they wait.  Their route is still blocked.

It has been very windy here for the last several days.  In fact, it was the wind that took out the ice on Sunday, sooner than I expected.  And every day since,  there has been a lot of wind and white caps on the lake.  Most of the ice has finally melted although there is a little bit that still remains along the shore.

But maybe with a little bit of luck, we can actually get the nesting platform in the water in the next few days.  And then we will try to have the camera online as soon as possible.  I know the technical wizards have been working hard to make that happen.

Last night I saw a single loon sitting out in front.  It is the first one I have seen this year.  I don't know if it is one of "our loons" or if it is just a loon passing through as it makes its way farther north.  Either way, it is exciting to see a loon.  At least one of them is back from their winter down south.

That loon may also be one of the chicks from 3 years ago.  The accepted wisdom is that when they come back after 3 years on the Gulf of Mexico they will return to the lake that they were born on.  Yet another of the miracles of loons.  I don't think that that has been definitively proven but it is believed to be true.  And then they may be driven off by the pair (possibly their own parents) who have staked out that lake as "their  territory". 

But it may also be the male of our pair of loons.  The male sometimes scouts out the territory a few days before the female joins him.

So we are getting close.  Now the excitement starts to build.  Now the anticipation grows day by day.  Now we are so close to once again observing one of the great miracles of nature.

But first the loons must return.  Then they must check out the nest.  They must decide that it is theirs.  And they must take ownership of it.

Only then will they begin to build.

And then the real miracles start.  When the eggs are laid.  And the chicks hatch.  Hopefully.  Hopefully each of the crucial steps take place.  And we have two more little downy loon chicks this year!

So settle back in your chair.  Get a BIG cup of coffee or cocoa.  And then gather the kids and your loved ones around you and join us on this wonderful journey of the "Loons for 2009".


Questions or comments?  Leave them here or send them to .  Because of the volume of emails and questions that we have see in the last couple years, I cannot promise that I will be able to answer all of them.  But everyone will be read and I will try to answer some of the questions in this blog.