60 degrees F Mostly Cloudy Wind Calm
Sunrise 5:24 am CDT Sunset 9:02 pm CDT
We are rapidly approaching our longest days of the year.
When the sun does not go down until after 9 pm. And the time when that wonderful, peaceful, calming twilight lasts until after 10 pm.
Ahhh the long hazy days of summer.
Yesterday was a spectacular summer day, even though summer has not officially started yet and won't for another week.
But there was lots of sunshine, gentle breezes, temperature about 80 degrees and no humidity. Nor have we had many mosquitoes yet this year. That bane of any summer day. They seem to just be beginning.
So yesterday could not have been much better for man nor loon.
Speaking of which, our little loon chick seems to be healthy and doing well!
Last night we went around the lake on a neighbor's pontoon.
I saw a pair of loons on the other side of the lake. I could not see if they had bands but they had no chick. Is this the other pair that has nested on the lake before?
I had gotten conflicting reports about whether they had nested or not. A couple days ago another neighbor and I went to check to see if they were nesting. I had been told that they had nested a couple weeks ago. And then I had been told that they had either lost the nest or had abandoned it.
Only one way to find out. To go and look.
We did find a nest. But there were no loons around even though I had been told someone had seen a loon on that nest last week.
But now there were no loons in sight. And no sign of any eggshells on the nest. Either from a chick hatching or from a predator eating the egg.
So if this is the pair of loons from that nest, they do not have a chick with them.
I could not see if they had bands or not. We have been hoping to recapture that pair to retrieve the data recorders that we put on them 3 years ago in order to download the data.
But we will have to see if they will nest yet or have chicks this year.
About a quarter of the way around the lake, we spotted "our" LoonCam loons.
I am happy to tell you that all three of them were swimming together and that they chick seems to be healthy and active.
Surprisingly this year, they have not spent much time in the vicinity of the nest at all. They have wandered far and wide.
Only ONE time have I seen they even come near the nest since they left it a week and a half ago. And then all three of them swam within feet of the nest but showed no undue interest in it any more. And neither of the adults nor the chick made any attempt to get back up on the nest.
That is as it should be. They, including the chick, are now once again waterbirds.
Yesterday I was also able to take the unhatched egg from the LoonCam nest into the good folks at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
They kindly x-rayed it to see what was inside.
I held my breath a little bit waiting for the results.
My hope was that it was infertile and had not even started to develop.
My fear was that it had developed and had a nearly mature chick inside that had died on that difficult night when we watched Dad all alone with the chick and the egg, trying to decide which one he took care of.
I am happy to tell you that Dad made exactly the right decision.
The egg showed NO signs of ever starting the development of a chick inside. It apparently was infertile.
So no amount of additional sitting on the egg would have yielded any different results.
It probably was the best news that we could have gotten all the way around. One healthy chick. One egg that was not fertile but that the loons did not sit on in vain.
I was down by the lake a little while ago looking for 'our loons'.
There is one loon with a chick on its back not too far away. I assume it is the male.
He is just calmly sitting floating. A bump on his back that must be the chick tucked safely and warmly under a wing.
Then I see movement and through the binoculars I see a chick poke his head out as he wakes up and looks around at his beautiful world.
While I am watching, another loon comes flying in. I assume it is the female. She lands. And since there is no alarm for the loon with the chick this has to be the mate.
All is well in the world of our loons!
[If you want to be kept up-to-date with a periodic (if rare) email later in the season, send an email to LoonCamATyahooDOTcom asking to be added to the email list.]
Copyright 2015 Larry R Backlund