Wednesday, May 18, 2016 7:21 am CDT

38 degrees F   Clear and Sunny  Wind  Calm

Sunrise  5:39 am CDT    Sunset   8:40 pm CDT



What a spectacular spring morning in Minnesota.

And what an interesting morning already.

There is not a cloud in the sky.

The sky is a deep blue as is talked about in the advertising jingle "From The Land Of Sky Blue Waters"!

In fact, one of the interpretations of the Indian word for Minnesota is "sky tinted waters" or "clear blue water".  And that is certainly true this morning.

There is no wind.  The lake is like a sheet of glass reflecting the sky and the newly greening trees around its edge.  And unbroken mirror.

Except for the fish jumping.  And the loons swimming on its surface.  And the ducks.  And mergansers.

The sun is chasing wisps and banks of fog off the lake into the shadows of the trees and cattails along the shaded edge of the lake.  A losing battle for the fog on a morning like this.

The low here at the lake was a chilly 36 degrees and it has warmed only a couple degrees from that.  But what a glorious morning.  New life all around.

One morning like this makes all the Minnesota blizzards worth it!

But also what makes the morning worthwhile is to see that the loons have not totally given up on the nest.

Around 6 this morning, both loons were around and on the nest for a few minutes.  No mating that I saw but this is the first time that the male was also on the nest!

That is a major step that he was willing to get up on the nest.  I will be very interested to watch the video of anyone caught it on video.  I want to see the bands on the female to see if it is our female from 2012 and before.  And also to see if the male is banded.  And to try to figure out who he is.

Or if our female from last year has now found a mate.

From watching through binoculars I could not tell and I missed some of the live video as she got on and off the nest.  So I want to see the video.  Once again THANK YOU to all who do the hard work of providing video for all of us!  I hope someone was able to catch it.

They were on the nest for about 5 minutes and then left.  I did not want to go outside to disturb them at all.  So I watched through the window.

After they had left, I went down to the lake to get a better view.

As I came to the edge of the lake, I was startled by a pair of mergansers and at least 9 chicks just a few feet away who were even MORE startled by me!

The adults noisily swam and splashed away as the chicks desperately struggled to keep up, their little wings and feet paddling and splashing as fast and as hard as they could.  Until the reached the cover of some cattails where they felt safer but kept paddling away from me as the male merganser kept swimming back and forth making known his displeasure with me for frightening them.

As they continued swimming away, they startled an American Bittern, or as we used to call the 'slough pumps', who rose up out of the cattails and flew off.

A startled pintail duck also swam out of the cattails.

Tree swallows circled and chirped and dove to get bugs off the surface of the lake.  You have seen them on and around the loon nest at times.  They are nesting in a martin house that I have along the edge of the lake.

Every direction you looked, there was something fascinating going on.

Right now the pair of loons is out past the middle of the lake having a minor confrontation with another loon.

There seemed to be two single loons, one of which took off flying a few minutes ago.  And now the pair and another loon are circling each other and diving.

If indeed this is two single loons and the pair that was just on the nest, that probably makes a total of six loons on the lake.  This pair, possibly two single loons and the other pair on the other side of the lake.

The other pair of loons on the lake apparently nested about 3 weeks ago, although I have yet to personally verify that.  If that is true, their eggs should hatch within the next week.

I have so much more to share with you about all that has happened on the lake.  About a BIG sturgeon in the lake, about treating for invasive species yesterday, about doing water sampling, about eagles and loons .... well, there is just too much to go into right now.

As encouraging as it is that both the male and female of this pair (whoever they are) were on the nest this morning, the reality is that we may be running out of time.

But how wonderful it is to be able to see what we have been able to see!

Stay tuned.


Questions or comments?  Email us at LoonCam at yahoo dot com.  Because of the volume of email I will not be able to respond personally to each email.  But I will eventually read every one and for recurring questions I will try to answer them here in this blog.

Copyright 2016    Larry R Backlund