Important odds and ends

Hi again, I had to run off without finishing that last note. I want to thank all who participated today. I’ll bet our area is one of the best covered areas in the state.

The Sue W. who contributes so many wonderful pictures and identifies all the birds I don’t know is Sue Wetmore of Brandon. Sue currently has an exhibit of 14 bird pictures at the Mt. Independence Museum. It runs through Oct. 19th, so now you have a possible destination on that rainy day that will eventually get here.

Rt. 73 to Rochester is undergoing bridge repair and is closed to trucks and trailers. I had three lengthy delays yesterday. It is also occasionally closed to all traffic and the flagger told me it would be closed this coming Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday.
Rt. 107 from Bethel this way also had two long one way stretches. From Rt. 89, I’d recommend you stay on 12 to the Bethel Mountain Rd. into Rochester and then take Rt 125 over the mountain. You’ll avoid it all.
I’ll try to remember to update you on the progress on 107 and 73 but I don’t plan on going that way soon.

We have a report from Eric on the 2014 season so far.

The breeding season goes well with:

  • 81 confirmed nesting attempts, a new record
    (80 nest attempts last year)
  • 67 chicks are still with us
  • 4 new nesting pairs have been discovered, including
    a new 4th pair on Green River Reservoir,
    a failed nest up on Fairfield Pond in NW Vermont,
    a second pair in the town of Marlboro on South Pond,
    and a failed nest on a tiny pond near Island Pond

The nest failure rate might be a bit higher this year as currently 18 nests have failed and we still have 16 pairs incubating as of the last surveys conducted. Many pairs did nest late this year in part to high levels of intruder loon activity.
Two adult loons were likely killed by other adult loons in territorial battles on Sunset L. (Marlboro) and Bean P. (Barton).

We are the only chick in our neck of the woods. The closest is probably Kent Pond in Killington and then maybe Plymouth or East Long Pond near Montpelier. I’m not sure of that one. Our nearest neighbor is usually Chittenden Reservoir but that egg was abandoned, per Eric, likely do to intruder loons not allowing the pair to sit on the nest. Considering all the good size ponds and lakes we have in a 50 mile radius, the nests are pretty spotty and we are very lucky. Mike

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Great loon watch

Hi all,
Things went without a hitch this morning. We found the chick and one adult on the first pass then another adult flew in and joined them. That one then left almost immediately to join two other adults who landed in the NW part of the lake. None were found on Fern or Silver Lake but one was seen flying high over Silver headed this way. The timing would suggest it was that first one that flew in. Two more adults were on Sugar Hill and they never left there. Six adults and a chick total.

The other day, they kids spotted these tiny critters in the parking lot at the access. Per Jim A, they are baby American Toads. I never would have seen them. Mike

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Toad? Mike Korkuc

IMG_4993 – Version 2
Toad?? Mike Korkuc

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All’s well

Hi all,
Same old same old, and that’s good. Family floats back and forth across the lake and boat traffic remains low in spite of near perfect weather.

I got the light right as one left the cove to go feed in the middle.

Kathy D. got the light even better a couple days ago with this sunrise and

and this perfectly timed shot of a fluff. Enjoy, Mike

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Silver Lake

All set for Silver Lake, thanks to all for the suggestions. Mike

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Sat. morning hiker needed

Hi all,
Eric has no one to check Silver Lake for loon count this Saturday morning. Is there anyone out there, or do you know someone who would be willing to check Silver Lake anytime between 7:00-9:00 AM while we are checking Dunmore? We try to do it the same time so we don’t count loons twice that may have traveled. If you’d like to help but don’t want to tackle the hike up, the walk in from the top side is pretty easy. It takes longer to drive from here up to the parking area up there than it does to walk in and out. It’s been a while for me but I think it’s only 10 minutes or so each way, slightly down hill on the way in. Let me know if you can help please.

Two very quiet days on the lake in spite of great weather. The family is still traveling back and forth between the east and west shores just north of the island. Midday yesterday we heard and saw a loon flying high above and then both parents took flight to chase it. Even though we knew about where to look, the chick was not easy to find. It’s sitting pretty high in the water in the picture below but when we pulled away, it settled down in so little more than its head was showing. Today we saw it dive to follow an adult and it swam maybe 30′ underwater. They do grow up quickly.

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Also today, back in chick mode, it was sleeping with its head under the adults wing. I don’t recall ever seeing that before.

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Here’s one doing a little extreme preening, they do kick up a spray. The male is still slightly more wary than the female but they both are still very comfortable around quiet boats and kayaks. That makes me think that no one has harassed them, at least badly and that is great.

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High 70′s, no wind, and no one on the lake. It feels like September out there. M.

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Quiet Monday

Hi all,
It was late afternoon before I got out on the water, almost dead calm after the rain shower. I thought the loons would be easy to find but not so. They were deep in the corner of Brushes Cove and I wouldn’t have found them at all if not for Sue and Paula pointing me in the right direction. Even then, I couldn’t see them until I was most of the way there because they were very close to shore and the adults were under water more than above.
I did unfortunately easily see two cormorants feeding, one just east of the ski course and one just NE of the island. A speed boat chased the island one airborne, unintentionally I think, but either way it was good. I also saw a loon fly southbound down the west shore. I tried to see if it landed but lost sight of it eventually.
Sue W. gets the credit for these two beautiful pictures. She didn’t say where the screech owl was but

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this Bicknell’s thrush was up on the top of Killington. Most of us will never get to see one. If you don’t know about Bicknell’s thrushes, there is a great article in the latest VCE newsletter. Enjoy, Mike

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Message from Rich Dahlgren, new Milfoil Coordinator

The milfoil crews are working hard to keep our milfoil problem from getting out of hand and choking the lake. This will hinder boating, swimming, and affect property values. Look at the YouTube video-link to illustrate what we face. You will see what it looks like, how abundant it is, and the suction harvest method.

We need your help to find the smaller patches of milfoil. I have assumed a coordinator role for the project directed by Al Wilson. Please e-mail or call me with milfoil sightings and I will follow up. richdahlgren721@yahoo.com or 247-3262. Please keep boats 100 feet from milfoil buoys to prevent fragmentation and spreading. Updates will be available on the LDFLA blog and in the newsletter.

Thanks for your help. Rich Dahlgren

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