Monday, May 10, 2010 4:13pm CDT


55 degrees   Cloudy    Wind SE  12mph


Our loons have had a quiet and uneventful day.

But last night we once again had our favorite uninvited guest....Mr Muskrat!

About 2:30am I was awakened out of sound sleep by a tremolo alarm call from the loon on the nest!

When I got up to see what was bothering her, there was the muskrat on the corner of the nest.  He quickly beat a retreat but just circled the nest and got back up again.  He was along the side of the nest on the upper right part of your screen.  And he was having a feast!

I have forgotten what I planted on that part of the nest but if I remember right, it was Creeping Charlie!

And the muskrat was chowing down like he was at an unlimited salad bar!

Since he was no where near the tv cables, I decided to watch to see how this would play out.

I am not sure how much the loon could actually see him in the dark and how much she was just going by the sound of him eating.  But she kept her eyes in his direction.

I had expected her to make a stabbing movement toward him but she did not.

She opened her beak and reached over toward him.  There may have been a little bit of a hiss...I could not tell if it was from the loon or from the muskrat.  As she reached toward him, he moved back.  But he kept eating.

She reached over several more times toward him with her beak open.

As he moved closer toward her up toward the top of your screen, she became more and more perturbed.  At one point she sort of fluffed up her wings and I may have heard a hiss again.  But then she halfway got off the nest and moved toward him with her beak open.  After some time of this dance back and forth between the two of him, the muskrat either decided it was time to leave or he had eaten all the salad he wanted and he left.

And the loon once again settled down on her eggs.

Let me say just a quick thing about the plants on the nest.  The plants you are seeing now are ones that I planted there to help keep the nesting materials from washing away.

In the upper left corner of your screen are irises and some small daylilies [although I think the muskrat has eaten most of those]>  In the center top of your screen are daylilies.  Along the length of the nest where the muskrat was eating is Creeping Charlie, I think.  In the right center of your screen are some more irises and daylilies and in the left corner of your screen are more irises.

We may actually see the irises start to bloom before the loons leave the nest.

As the next couple weeks go along, you will see some other green plants begin to sprout.  They are different plants that sprout on their own from the seeds and roots in the nesting material.

It should start to rain in the next hour or so and rain is predicted  for all of tonight.  There is a possibility of some storms but I think it will be mainly just garden variety showers.

So the loons have successfully made it through another day!  Only 3 1/2 weeks to go!