Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:26am CDT


44 degrees F   Sunny   Calm


Late yesterday afternoon, I didn't see the loons anywhere in the area so I thought it would be a good time to get a few sections of the dock put in.

Whatever amount of dock is in when they actually start nesting is all that gets put in until they leave the nest the end of May or first part of June.  And even then, no one goes out on the dock until the loons are gone.  The loons own everything while they are here!

I had not been working on the dock for many minutes until I saw one of the loons appear.  It was obvious he was watching me from a distance and was slowly making his way toward  the nest and me.

He sat off to the side of the nest and just watched.

I kept working as fast and as quietly as I could.  As long as he was not concerned, I felt I could keep working.  It was not many minutes before the second loon showed up also.  They both swam around the nest and kept an eye on me.

They did not seem upset at all or even concerned.  More curious than anything.

And maybe just wanting to make a statement of 'You can be out here but don't come out too far.  This is ours.  Just sayin!'

They swam and watched.  I continued to work.

At one point one of them, the male I think, positioned himself about halfway between the nest and me.  No more than about 50 feet away.  I 'talked' to them the whole time with soft hoots and wails (people would probably think I was crazy if they heard me).

I was content that they were content.

Even before I finished putting in the three sections that I was planning to put in, the two loons calmly swam off out into the lake.  Apparently they had come to the conclusion that I was not going to do anything to their nest.  And also that it was pretty boring watching me work.

There were more important things to do.

Like fish!

And so off they went.  I finished what I had planned to do.  They had satisfied themselves that all was well.  So we were both happy.

I am so glad that you have gotten a chance to see the loons a little bit as they swam near the nest.

Some of you have already noticed that there is a zoom feature this year.  I do not have any control of it.  I am not sure if they will be able to zoom out any further than it is right now.  I was going to wait to tell you about it for a little while but some of you are so very observant that you saw the movement  as soon as it happened.

I am not sure about the night vision.

I was told that we would have it.  They had checked it out in a totally dark room before they brought the camera out  here and they said they had a great picture.  I raised the question the first night when I saw the picture was black but I have not heard anything new yet.  I will let you know if I hear something.  It may just be a situation where some tweaking needs to be done or some settings changed (hopefully).

We have gotten spoiled the last few years with having night vision and I hope that we will have it again this year.  I am not sure what has changed from when they tested it.  The same with the sound levels.  I will let you know anything I find out.

If you look at the top corner of the nesting platform, in the water you can see a dark shape.  I think that is the cement block that anchors that corner of the nest.  When the water is calm, you may be able to make it out.  When the water is calm, you may also be able to see fish swimming by.  

When I brought the nest in last week to do some final work on it, a very large fish swam out from underneath it.  I am not sure what it was.  I think/hope that it was a carp and not a northern or a largemouth bass.  A carp is no danger to our chicks.  But a bass or especially a northern are a danger to young chicks in the water.  I think that is what took one of our chicks a few years ago.

I know some of you saw the loons as they swam underwater yesterday.

You will probably see the loons on somewhat of an irregular schedule ... as some of you have already seen them.  They don't give me a copy of their schedule so I can't tell you when they will be here.

But probably the best times to try to see them are early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening.  Those seem to be the times when they would be most apt to show up.  But they can show up at any time at a moments notice.

They will gradually begin to spend more time around the nest and finally begin to get up on it.  They have already been around the nest enough that it tends to put a little of my 'paranoia' at ease.  I think they will use the nest again this year.

On Easter Sunday morning, one of them actually got up on the nest for about 5 minutes.  No nest building activity at all.  She just sat there.  And yesterday, one of them made a half-hearted attempt to get up on the nest but 'fell backwards' and did not try again.

But they will.

And then you will see them up close in all their glory.

I would guess ( and it is only a guess) that we are still about a week away from them laying the first egg.  But once again, they do not give me their schedule on that either so it is only a guess!

Sit back and enjoy the anticipation.

And the excitement when one of the loons actually comes into view.

It will not be long now!



Questions or Comments?  LoonCam(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Because of the volume of email that comes, I will not be able to answer them personally.  But I do eventually read all of your emails.  And if there are questions that several people are asking, I will try to answer them here in the blog.