Wednesday, April 13, 2011 11:15pm CDT

40 degrees  Partly Cloudy  Wind 7mph north
Spring is all of a sudden slipping away.
There has been a cold wind off the lake all day and there is even a prediction of some snow for Friday evening and Saturday morning.  But the loons seem not to mind it at all.  They are used to the cold water and I think they can deal with the cold even better than they can deal with heat.
Yesterday afternoon I had to get in the water to do somethings and I can tell you the loons deal with the cold water better than me.  It was downright painful!
Yesterday afternoon I also saw two pair of loons and one single loon on the lake.
Then last night I saw 3 different pairs.  So I am not sure if there are 6 or 7 loons on the lake.  But there are more than we need.  Hopefully some of them are just moving through and that we will not have a lot of fighting for territory.
The thought keeps going through my mind wondering if some of these loons are the young from several years ago.  But there is no way of telling for sure so it can only be conjecture.
This afternoon there were a number of yodel calls.  As you will remember, a yodel is very much a territorial call and is made only by the male.  I could see two loons in the area where the calls were coming from but they did not seem to be fighting.  By the time I was able to get the binoculars and look, I could only see the two loons who were swimming together.
One of the times they yodeled, I saw an eagle flying over the lake and I am fairly certain that yodel was an alarm call about the eagle.
We are still working on getting everything up and running and ready to go.  We have live picture going to South Africa and they are working on their end of things to make sure we can bring everything to you live.
This afternoon I got another email from Carol Jansky at St John's University about "Big John".....
"After 5:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Big John moved to Sagatagan.  I checked Sag yesterday (Tuesday)  and found one loon (slender neck) by the islands while Big John was still on Gemini.  Sagatagan was still mostly black ice--the ice had retreated from the shores 5-10 meters and there were a few cracks in the main part of the lake.  Today, the ice has retreated much more and when I checked at noon I saw Big John and another loon swimming together.  I'm pretty sure that it is his mate (or at least who's mating with this year) because they did a little bit of coordinated splash diving.  He would hoot for her if he surfaced first which was often the case.  (There was actually quite a bit of hooting going on.)  I watched from the beach (north end of the lake)  and when they neared me, Big John yodeled twice.  (I guess for my benefit, there was no other loon there.)  The first yodel had 3 repeating phrases, the second only had 2 repeating phrases.  The female interrupted him with a short tremelo.
It is good to have him back!"
Tonight one of the Twin Cities television stations did a short story about the return of the loons and about "Big John" in particular.  They interviewed Carol as part of it and also Carrol Henderson from the Minnesota DNR.  You may want to check on their website to see if they have a link to the story.  It was on WCCO-TV, Channel 4 in Minneapolis.
I will try to keep you up to date as things progress.
But just know that loons are on the move all across the country!