Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:33pm CDT


63 degrees F     Partly Cloudly     Calm

Sunrise   5:42am     Sunset   8:36pm


This strange year of 2013 continues.

So far there has been no interest in nest by the loons.  This is the first time in all these years I have seen such behavior.  Or lack thereof.

Night before last a single loon came swimming by the nest.  That is the first time I have seen one of the loons even come close to the nest.

He definitely slowed down as he swam by and obviously looked at the nest.  But he did not come up to the nest nor get up on it.  He continued swimming on by.

Some of you were watching last evening as I was out by the nest.  I tried to explain what I was doing but apparently the sound of the wind and the waves drowned out my voice.

I went out to attach an extension to the primary anchor rope.  The extension that I had attached last year had been ripped away by the ice.  There was still enough rope for the water level to come up over a foot.  But if you remember last year we had torrential rains and the lake came up over 17 inches and the nest was in danger of going under.

I did not want to contend with that again while the loons were around so I wanted to attach an extension rope while I had the opportunity.

I was ready to go out and do it when a loon showed up and swam some distance out from the nest.

But he stayed further out in the lake and did not come toward the nest.

After he finally left, I went out and attached the extension rope.  That is when I tried to explain to you what I was doing.

I also made a new 'chick ramp' which should make it easier for the chick to get back up on the nest if he wants to.  You will remember that last year the chick ramp was completely ripped off the nest and washed away.  So this year I am trying another design.

The chick ramp is attached immediately below the camera, just out of view.  Hopefully it might also be a little bit protected from winds from a storm.

The nest has already been subjected to several very windy days with high waves.  But so far it seems to be holding up very well with little damage.

One of the other things I did while I was in the water was to place the swimming raft and a series of buoys.  These all form a semicircle around the nesting platform and are meant to keep boats, kayaks and canoes away from the nest.  So now the area is well marked.

I also tried to explain to you what to watch for as the plants on the nest develop.

The plants on the far side of the nest are a clump of iris and a clump of daylilies.  The iris are on your left and the daylilies on your right.

In the lower left corner of your picture are two clumps of iris.  You can barely see them at the edge of the picture.

Next to the camera and also on the corner to the right, just out of sight, are high willow branches.  They are there to discourage eagles from swooping directly down on the nest.

As many of you know from previous years, I usually say that I become very paranoid for about two weeks after I put the nest out.  What if we go to all the work and the loons do not use the nest.  But every year since I first built the nest, the loons have used it

That alone is an amazing record.

The DNR tells me that barely over half of the nesting platforms put out ever get used.  And this one has been used every year.

With this spring being so different, will this be the first year that the loons do not use the nesting platform?

Only time will tell.

I am not ready to give up yet.  But this year has been so different on so many different levels.  And so far the loons have not shown any interest in the nest.

So once again, we can only watch and wait.

We provide the stage.

The loons write the script!


Copyright 2013    Larry R Backlund