Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:57am CDT


57 degrees  Mostly Cloudy  Wind Calm


There is a great sight right now!

Four loons.  Two adults and two chicks are sitting straight out from me.  Sitting right about where the nesting platform used to be.

This is the first time I have seen the loons in about 4 days.  It has been so windy and so rainy that it has been hard to even see them out on the lake.  And they have not been on this side of the lake at all that I have seen when I have been home.

I have heard them several times but I have not seen them.  They have been somewhere else on the lake whenever I have looked for them.

Two very big balls of brown down both sit floating with their heads turned and their bills buried somewhere in all that down....sleeping.

The two adults swim right next to them.  One of them is doing foot waggles but neither of them are sleeping.  They are alert and looking around.  A few rays of early morning sun touch the stark black and white and it is reflected in the calm early morning waters.

Can there be a better way to start the day?

Can anything be wrong in the world when you are greeted by a peaceful scene like this?

It is so good to see the chicks so big and seemingly thriving.

It is hard to believe that these are the same chicks that only two weeks ago could have easily fit in my hand as they emerged from the eggs.  Now they are at least half the length of the adult.  Maybe even more.

Suddenly the scene is broken.

The chicks are awake now.  The adults are on alert with heads stretched high.  And then the calls.

An eagle is flying over.

The eagle does not even slow down or pay attention to the loons.  It keeps moving to another part of the lake and the loons setttle down.  Now one of the chicks is slightly rolled over on its side doing a foot waggle.  Wow!  That foot is HUGE!

Late last night there was a duel of yodels that went on for sometime.

First from about a quarter of the way around the lake.  I assume that they were 'our' loons.

Then an answer from a quarter way around the lake the other direction.

I assume that is the other pair of loons that nested on the lake this year.  I am still astounded by the fact that we have TWO successful pairs of nesting loons on the lake this year.  I am not sure that has happened in recorded history.  I know that it has not happened in the last 50 years or more.

There is a yodel.  And then an answer from across the lake.  And then an answer to that answer.

Wails and tremolos are added to the mix until the air is filled with a loon chorus.

The concert lasts a full 10 or 15 minutes.

It is a concert that can be fully enjoyed knowing that the various parts of the choir are separated by a half mile of lake and darkness so that there is no physical danger.

It is a concert that is beyond description or beyond the ability of any reviewer to adequately describe.

A couple evenings ago just as it was getting dark, I heard a yodel from somewhere out in the lake.  Due to the wind and waves and the fact that it was almost dark, I could not pick out the loon in the fading light.  But I assumed it was our loons that were out in the middle of the lake somewhere.

I looked to see if I could see what was upsetting them.

As I was looking, a loon came flying over.

Then another one.

I did not see where they landed but I assume that the loons flying over was the other pair of loons on the lake.  And the loon in the middle of the lake saw them flying over and took that as a challenge to his territory.  So he began his territorial yodeling to tell them 'Do not land on this part of the lake.  This part of the lake is mine.  It is where I am raising my family and you are not welcome here.  Go someplace else.'

But at this moment, all of that is in the past.

The loons are now in feeding more.

The adults dive and come back with a minnow.  The minnows they now catch are bigger than were those they caught during the first few days for the chicks.  The chick hungrily gobbles it down and waits for the next one.  Time after time the adults dive and come back with a minnow.  Time after time the chicks eat their breakfast.

The adults do not seem to tire of this routine.  And the chicks do not stop eating.  It takes a lot to fill up that growing teenager.

May your day today be as wonderful as this scene!


Questions or Comments?