Saturday, May 28, 2011 10:39pm CDT

59 degrees  Clear  Calm
The loons had a relatively quiet day even with the increased boat traffic.
There were several boats and pontoons that came by who were obviously aware of the nest and the LoonCam and had come to check it out.  All of them were very respectful including one that the neighbor asked to move away as they were fishing.  I did not see it as I was gone.  But the neighbor said they apologized and said they didn't know what it was.  Sometimes you have to  give the benefit of the doubt.
Tonight I heard yodels and went to see what was going on.
The loon was off the nest [obviously it had been the male on the nest] and he was nearby broadcasting his yodel from side to side.  There was no other loon in sight nor any boats nor anything else that was of concern.
I have seen this a few times before where the male loon will simply stretch out his neck almost parallel to the water and broadcast his yodel over an arc covering a section of the lake.  Then he turns and does it again to another section of the lake.
In these instances, I have not been able to see anything that should cause alarm and it is just as if the male wants to trumpeet to all parts of the lake that he is there and that this is his territory.
Some reasearchers tell us that each male has a yodel that is unique to him.  In fact, there are some researchers who believe that the male may actually broadcast how old he is, how strong he is and other information.  It is hard to believe that there is all that information in a yodel and it will be interesting to see what further research reveals.
After a few minutes off the nest, the male returned to the nest, turns the eggs and settle down on them.
No sooner had he settled back on the nest than 3 loons flew over all the while giving their flying tremolo calls.
The male on the nest answered with several yodels of his own but never left the nest.
We were talking as we were watching and I said I could only imagine what that loud wail did to your speakers.
I have heard it before and it is so loud that the sound system cannot even handle the volume of the call so it sounds distorted.  That is not how it sounded in person.  In person it was  a perfect and beautiful yodel.  I remember when it happened last year someone said they jumped out of their chair and someone else replied that they had to scrape their cat off the ceiling!
It is a very loud call in person.  When you realize that it can be heard over a distance of a couple miles, you realize how loud it is.  And then for the loon to make the call right next to the microphone....well, what else can be said.
Also, there has been a big spider tonight that decided he wants to be in the limelight right in front of the camera lense and blocking the view.
Hopefully he will move on by himself or the weather will move him off the lense.  My fear is that it looked like he was building a web across the lense.  If that is the case, it may trap insects that will additionally block our view.
Let's see what happens on its own.
As you know, I do not even approach the nest except in the most extraordinary circumstances.  And my position on that has not changed.
However, if he totally blocks the lense, I would have to consider when and how I could clear the lense with the least disruption and still give you a better view.  What is it that we have said about the LoonCam?  That is it natural.  And that is what I have tried to maintain at every step and give you a glimpse into the life of loons behaving naturally.  It sometimes seems as if I have gained a measure of their trust.  And there is nothing I want to do to break or harm that trust.
So let's take the spider one step at a time.
Hopefully we will see two little chicks hatch and leave the nest.  And then no one will care what that "vain camera hog" of a spider will do!
Only a few more days to go!
Questions or Comments?