Monday, April 30, 2012 5:35am CDT

45 degrees   Cloudy   Wind Calm
Sunrise  6:02am     Sunset 8:18pm
A foggy haze covers the lake.
Two common loons sit near the floating nesting platform.
All is quiet.
The loons seem to have taken to sitting close to the nest for the last couple nights.
But overnight there have been several instances where they were not so quiet.  It is not known what caused it but each time the male would start broadcasting his yodels and the female would join in with her tremolos and wails.
I did not hear any answering calls from other loons on the lake except once.
It was as if the loons just suddenly decided that it was time to tell the entire lake, and the world, that this was their territory and they were ready to defend it.
If you were to watch a male loon as he trumpets his territorial yodel, you would see him extend his nexk almost parallel to the surface of the water, open his beak and issue his loud and piercing yodel call as he turns his head across an arc in front of him.  It is sort of like one of the rotating tornado sirens that rotate to broadcast their signal.
The male loon does the same thing to broadcast his intent to anyone within range.  He turns his head from side to side as he blasts his yodel across the lake.
As day dawns, I would expect the loons to swim around the nest or even visit the nest before they swim back out into the lake.
Unless they decide this is the morning to lay an egg.
I looked back at the egg laying times over the last few years.  It happens at almost any time of day.
2011     Egg 1  Wed 9:54pm     Egg 2  Fri 7:34am
2010     Egg 1  Wed 9:24am     Egg 2  Fri 9:12pm
2009     Egg 1  Thu  6:17am     Egg 2  Sat 5:59pm
2008     Egg 1  Sat bef 8:30am Egg 2  Mon Afternoon
2007     Egg 1  Sun abt 6pm     Egg 2  Wed abt 10am
2006     Egg 1  Fri 11:40am      Egg 2  Mon bef 9:45am
That gives you an idea of when the eggs were laid over the last several years.  It can happen almost any time of day.
When and what time will it be this year?
That is something that is more likely to Las Vegas giving odds than what we know how to guess.
But the fact that they are remaining near the nest during the night (it saves having to drive long distances through rush hour traffic when the time is imminent!) and that they are visiting the nest more often and for longer periods of time are all hopeful signs.
If you have never seen a loon laying an egg, and very FEW people in the world have, it is something very exciting and interesting.  You have the privilege of seeing something that loon researchers for decades would have given anything they had to be able to see.  When we captured video of the laying of an egg a few years ago, as far as we can tell it is the first time anyone had seen or captured that on film.
And you not only get to see that if you are vigilant, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
So will it be today?  Or are we still many days away?  That I can't tell you.
But all the signs are very positive that we are getting closer.  Now is the time to tweet and instant message your family and friends to tell them they now is a good time to start watching if they are not already 
When ever the egg is going to be laid, it will probably happen fairly quickly.
Comments or Questions?   LoonCam(at)yahoo(dot)com
Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund