Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:36pm CST


15 degrees  Clear  Wind N1mph


The cold has finally started to get the loons into action.

The three loons that were still on their summer lakes a few days ago have now all moved to Lake Michigan.  So now all of the loons with satellite transmitters have begun their migration.  As I mentioned before, I am a little surprised at how late their migration has begun this year.

Only time and more research will tell us if the commonly accepted wisdom that adult loons normally start their migration between mid-September and mid-October is correct or if we will learn something new from these loons.  Or if it is the mild weather we have had this fall that has delayed the start of their migration.

The lake here that you watched on the LoonCam will probably be frozen over by morning.  If not tomorrow, it will freeze over for sure within the next few days.

I keep wondering about the four loons that I saw swim by on Sunday morning.  Wondering where they are right now.  Are they also on the move?  Have they also made their way over to Lake Michigan or will they take some other route?

Now as cold weather is moving in across the north country, it will be interesting to see how long the loons will stay on Lake Michigan before they continue on their migration.

One very interesting piece of information is that one of the loons really is on the move.  It took him a while to get going but once he started to move, he put it in overdrive!

Check out the migration for Loon #55488.

He started on Lake Manitowish  in Wisconsin.  On September 19th, he flew from Lake Manitowish to Green Bay of Lake Michigan.  He stayed on Lake Michigan until November 17th at which point he flew to Lake Erie, just east of Detroit.

Then on November 19th he flew all the way to the Atlantic Coast off North Carolina where he was as of today, November 23.  He is at the eastern end of Albemarle Sound near Edenton, NC.

So those of you who live in North Carolina or near the Sound may be able to spot this particular loon.

If you go to look for him, look for an adult loon (although he will have finished much of his molt by now and may be fully gray rather than black and white) with an antenna sticking out of his back.

The antenna looks very much like the thin, flexible whip antenna that you would see on one of your kids radio control cars.  It is 8 to 10 inches long and will be located at the extreme back part of the body of the loon on the right hand side.

Let us know if you spot him.  Not only will it be exciting for you if you get to see him, it will be equally exciting for all the rest of us to hear if someone spots him and can give a first hand report about how and what he is doing.

How exciting is this now that the loons are on the move?

I would expect that the colder weather will get the rest of them moving very soon.

Where will they go?  And which route will they take?

To be continued soon!