Well, in a strange year that did not seem like it could get any stranger, it just has!
The two loons and the chick just came by the nest a little after 7 pm. I had seen them for the last couple hours since I came home quite a far distance from the nest. It surprised me at how far away they were.
As the came by the nest, one of the loons with a minnow in its mouth got up on the nest.
As the chick swam by, the loon immediately got off the nest. When it left, things had changed dramatically.
There was a big yellow splotch next to the egg!
When I zoomed in on the egg, it certainly looks like the egg has been crushed and the 'yellow splotch' is actually the yolk of the egg.
From what I can see on cam, it does not appear that there was any development inside the egg. It must have been infertile.
I will stop short of saying that definitively until I can get a closer look. But that is certainly what it looks like now.
Here are my plans.
If the loons move far enough away from the nest, I will go out to the nest and try to collect as much of the egg as I can for further analysis. But I will not go out to the nest if I feel the loons are too close.
Right now one of the loons is still in the area with the chick on its back. It is back of the camera but some distance away from the nest. But it is still too close for me to feel comfortable in going out there. I do not want to upset the loons or to put the chick in any danger.
So I will watch to see if I get a chance tonight to go collect the remains of the egg. I would like to do it before the egg soaks into the soil or especially before the loons get back up on the nest. But we will just have to play it by ear.
Over the last couple days we have been in consultation to decide what to do if the egg did not hatch. I won't go into much more detail right now until I see what if anything we can salvage from this egg.
I wish I could tell you when I was going to go out there to collect the remains. But I can't predict what the loons are going to do or where they will be. I will just have to do it quickly when I see an opportunity.
The best I can tell you is to keep watching.
Hopefully the fan on the camera will not be running when I am out there. I will try to explain what I am seeing and what I am doing.
Hopefully this can happen yet this evening.