Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:02pm CDT


43 degrees F    Mostly Cloudy    Wind 10mph  NNE


It looks like we may be getting very close to our first egg!

I would guess within the next couple days - or even tomorrow.  I may even set my alarm clock for tomorrow morning even though I am normally up early to do the blog.

But the loons have often proved me wrong before.  So the only way to know for sure is to watch.  And wait.

Today the loons have spent increasing amounts of time near and on the nest.  There has been an increasing amount of nest building activity and at times it seemed to have an urgency to it.  They have mated several times again today.  All of this is a very good indication that once again this year we are going to be able to watch the loons hopefully hatch two more beautiful chicks.  But there is a long, long way to go yet.

So far you have had to take your chances if you would see a loon when you logged on to the cam.  But the excitement when you are actually lucky enough to see the loons is hard to describe, isn't it?

Soon that will change.

Once the eggs are laid, you can almost be assured that every time you log on you will see one of our beautiful loons!  Because for the next 4 weeks after they have laid the eggs, one of the loons will be on the nest almost non-stop.

I sometimes also take for granted that we are going to be able to watch the loons, even though I have told you that I go through  a period of paranoia for about 2 weeks before they actually nest.

What you may not know is that only slightly over half of the nesting platforms that are put out actually get used by loons!  I have been so fortunate that the loons have used this particular nesting platform every year since I put it out.  So it is easy to assume that they will use it every year.  But we are not guaranteed anything.

I have just returned from one more time being in the lake.  No, nothing to do with the camera or the nest.

I placed a number of buoys some distance out from the nest to try to encourage fishermen and boaters to keep their distance from the nest.  Most of the time it works.  Sometimes better than others.  I have yet to see anyone do anything maliciously.  But we have had instances of people doing things without thinking.

The neighbors have been gracious enough to put their swimming raft out to also try to keep people away from the nest.  So I pulled that out a little further while I was out there.

I had tried earlier this evening to do it but with no luck.

I watched for sometime and even with the binoculars I could not see the loons anywhere.  [You already probably know where this is going!]  So I quickly changed into my swimming suit and went in the water dragging a whole bunch of buoys and anchors.

I got to about where I wanted to place the first buoy and dropped it there.

I had not taken more than a few steps to place the next buoy and sure enough, there was a loon swimming about a hundred feet from me.  And the other one was further out in the lake but definitely headed toward me.  Neither one seemed to be upset.  But it was as if they were saying "We just want you to know that our eyes are never off this nest!"

I left the other buoys right where they were.  All in a bunch.  And I started backing up toward shore as I talked to the loons.  They showed neither distress nor being upset.  They followed me part way as I retreated toward shore.

Once I was up on shore, I watched as they swam out to the bunch of buoys.  They swam around them and dived, obviously checking out what this new thing was in their territory.  And then having apparently satisfied themselves, they swam back out into the lake.

So far there is not much boat traffic.  But that could change quickly if we return to warm weather.

The big pressure will come in the middle of may when Minnesota observes one of the biggest rituals of the year - Fishing Opener.  This is when it becomes legal to take walleyes and other game fish and then hundreds of thousands of people head to our lakes to go fishing.

But tonight it is quiet.

There are now buoys out to keep boats away from the nest.

And there are two loons that are getting closer and closer to laying that all important first egg.

Get ready to Tweet and Twitter and Facebook and IM and email and every other way [even old fashioned phone calls!] so that none of your family and friends and schools miss the big event.



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

 Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund