Monday, June 7, 2010 10:59pm CDT

I have been away from here so I apologize for not having seen anything to give you an update on what has been happening.
I scanned some of the chat room entries and see that people have been keeping wonderful entries of what has been happening.  But then I saw that you were getting "Ringo" again and could not see the webcam.  The same thing happened to me when I logged in now.  I have sent an email to WildEarth and MNBound about it.
I am able to view the cam on my tv but like you I cannot get it on my computer.  Hopefully they will have it back up and running soon.
Right now the loon is sitting in the same position that you have seen her sit for so many days.  If you did not know what had happened today with the egg going in the lake for a second time, you would never know that anything was different.  Nor would you know that we are close to reaching the limits for a successful egg hatch.
I was not able to bring the egg to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources [DNR] today but will hopefully be able to reach them tomorrow.  My thinking right now is to wait until we see what happens with the second egg.  But I will see what they would prefer to do.  I have messages in for the people that I work with at the main headquarters.
I cannot guarantee that they will be able to x-ray the egg like we did a couple years ago.  But I will ask them if they can.  Like everyone else around the country they are tight on their budget also.  But we will see what is possible.
Unfortunately a loon egg cannot be 'candled' to see what is in it because of the dark shell and the thickness of that shell.
But I will keep you up-to-date on whatever we do.
In scanning some of the observations today, I think I was not clear in something I apparently said earlier today.
I noticed a number of people talking about the mate having deserted the loon on the nest and being no where around.  I have not looked back to see what I said that left that false impression but it is not true.  I do not remember saying anything like that but I apologize if I misled anyone.
The times that I have been home today I have seen the mate several times...even swimming up by the nest and swimming with the other loon.  I think that there have probably been at least a couple nest exchanges today although I am still not able to tell one loon from the other.
But the mate has not deserted the other loon as far as I have been able to see today.  Now having said that, I do not feel that there has been the same dedication that we have seen in previous years.  But we will talk more about that at some point.
The only thing that I can think of that maybe led some people to believe that the mate had deserted is when I talked this morning about the loon leaving the nest and chasing another loon out into the lake and away from the nest.  Then shortly after s/he went back and swam by the nest, the other loon came flying in and landed near the nest and the two of them swam together.  But I am convince that both of those loons were 'our pair' that has been on the nest....not that one had abandoned the other.  Sorry for any misunderstanding.
Tonight was the 31st day for the second egg and it is the 33rd day for the first egg that was laid.
It is anybody's guess which egg ended up in the lake this morning [was that just this morning?!?!?  It already seems so long ago!].
[Just now there were several wail calls from out on the lake but the loon on the nest does not react to them.]
It could have been either the first or the second egg.  There is no way of telling.  And it could have been the same egg that was bumped out of the nest last Friday or it could be the other egg.  Once again, there is absolutely no way to know for sure which one was which.
As I mentioned this morning, the egg that I retrieved out of the water floating some distance from the nest had no cracks or pips or holes nor anything else that indicated that it was  ready to hatch.  I listened carefully to it for any sound or peeping.  There was none.  And I felt for any movement and there was none that could be detected.  I also felt for any warmth which would be expected if there was a chick inside just about ready to hatch.  And there was no warmth either.
So for however it may put your mind at ease, I do not think the egg that went in the lake this morning had a chick that was about ready to hatch.  If that is any consolation for any of us.
So now we wait to see what happens with the second egg.  Hopefully it will hatch.  But if it does not, my feeling is that we would give it some reasonable time beyond its expected hatching date before we would do anything.  What ever I do will be done with the advice and consultation of experts from the DNR and other places. 
And I will keep you up-to-date about what to expect.
Until then, just know that tonight the loon is still on the nest.  Still minding the remaining egg, although I have not seen the egg since I came back in because she has not gotten up and readjusted it since I started watching.
Hopefully soon the web feed will be up and running again and you can see first hand what is going on.  Until then, get some well deserved rest!  All of you have been amazing in your dedication to watching and documenting everything that has happened.  You are real troopers and have demonstrated your love and respect for these beautiful birds!