Monday, April 13, 2015 6:15 am CDT


39 degrees F    Clear     Wind 3 mph NW

Sunrise   6:32 am CDT     Sunset   7:56 pm CDT


We can all relax a tad this morning.

Early yesterday morning our loons visited the nest for the first time this year.

Not only did they visit the nest, they mated on the nest.  That is a very good sign of them taking ownership of the nest.

I have to say that it surprised me a little bit for all of it to happen so fast.

Usually they will make several visits before they mate the first time.  But this was part of one seamless scene.  Get on the nest.  Mate.  Leave the nest.

Now lest you think you are missing a lot of what happens off camera, you are not.  I very seldom see the loons at all.  Occasionally I hear them calling from some other part of the lake.  But it is not as if they are sitting waiting just out of camera range.  They are not in the area at all.  That is part of what at times adds to my 'paranoia' that I have talked about before.

But now that they have not only been on the nest but have mated on the nest, that is a very good sign of them taking ownership of the nest and very hopeful that we will soon see them laying eggs and hopefully once again raising cute little 'loonlings'.

We got up to 80 degrees here at "loon lake" yesterday.  That is very warm for us this time of year.

But along with it came very high winds for most of the day as a front was approaching.

Then last night the front came through and brought us rain and lightning and thunder.  It was quite a show.  Fortunately there was no bad weather here but a number of places got some hail along with it.

The rain will help green things up.  And the old saying is "April showers bring May flowers!"  That is true in general and even true of the plants on the nest.  There are a couple new plants this year on the nest so you will be interested in watching them grow and trying to identify them.

Several of your have wondered about the 'white spots' that you see off in the distance.  And have also wondered about how far away they are.

Those white spots are a number of buoys that have been placed around the nest to help keep boaters from approaching to close to the nest and disturbing the loons.  Loons are a protected species and therefore it is against both State and Federal law to harass nesting loons.

The buoys are about 50 to 100 feet away from the nest.

On camera it looks like they are much farther away than that.  But that gives you a little bit of an idea of distance and will help you judge distances on camera.

There is also a large swimming platform that the neighbors graciously put out so that it is a little harder to miss seeing the buoys.

Most boaters are VERY respectful of the nest and will go out around the buoys.  We have even already had our first boat of 'carp hunters' a couple nights ago.  And even though most of the buoys were not even out yet, they very carefully went out and around the nest.

But you get the occasional one who doesn't seem to put two and two together.

A few years ago I saw a boat right up by shore behind the cattails but right in the middle of the loon nest area.  The loons had already been scared off the nest.  I went down and asked them, "This is a federally protected loon nesting area, do you suppose I could ask you to fish off to either side of this area?"

One of the fishermen looked around and then said to me, "I didn't see any signs!"

I asked him, "What do you think all those buoys and that swimming raft were for?"

He looked around at all the buoys and the raft and then turned back to me and said, "I didn't see any signs!"

I just shook my head and walked back up to the house.

As I got back up to the house I turned and looked back down to the lake at them.  They had just blithely continued on through the nesting area.  I shook my head again and continued on about my day.

It was not until a little while later that it hit me that they had gone right over the tv and IR light cables that go out to the nest!

It is probably good that I did not remember it right  away or I would have gone down there screaming at them.  Fortunately they did not cut any of the cables with their motor.

But that is just one small illustration of all the things that have to happen just right to continue to bring the pictures of the LoonCam to you.

Any one little thing going wrong, and it all stops.  Unfortunately if the loons are already on the nest, there is very little that can be done to fix any problems.

So, for today, let's hope all  'problems' manmade or natural stay away.

Enjoy a beautiful Minnesota spring day.

And enjoy every glimpse that you get of our beautiful loons.


Copyright 2015  Larry R Backlund