Hi to all,
We are in Atlanta, it’s cold but still foliage season in spots. The bottom two pictures are the view from the hotel window, the first at night and the other at sunrise. It’s definitely a different point of view than you usually get from me.
Tomorrow it’s off to NC, if weather doesn’t mess up the flights. If we see anything good, we’ll send it along. A happy Thanksgiving to all from Rosie and me. Mike
Hi to all,
It has been a while since the last note, it has been a very busy fall for us. The warm weather lasted well past when it should have, making for lots of late season boat and motorcycle rides. When it turned though, it did it with a vengeance. We’ve already had a few snow flakes, and this past Monday we had a skim of ice on some of the local farm ponds.
Foliage came late and then lasted longer than I would have expected. The reds were hard to find but the yellows made taking a ride worthwhile.
We’ve had a couple bear reports, the most recent was at the foot of Rogers Rd. yesterday.
The lake has had a quiet fall as far as ducks and geese go. I got three reports of loons still here in the last two days though. All I was able to find today was a single mallard and a few seagulls on the water when I went looking. Bill M. says it was an immature one that he saw near the island so that would have to be a transient. No way to tell about the others. Water temperature was 50 degrees today so even with the nighttime air temps in the 20′s, it’ll be a while before they have to worry about any ice, if our pair do happen to still be around.
Not seeing the beautiful foliage is the price some of you have to pay for walking around in shorts right now, so here you are.
Out on the lake today, I got a high flyby by some geese.
In spite of the cold and wind we’ve had, and the gloominess today, we still had a touch of color on the leaves still up. That’s Branbury on the left side of the picture. It was in the low 50′s and the rain had just ended when I took this just before noon. The wind shifted and it started cooling down shortly after. The boat will be coming out in the next couple days so it will likely be awhile before I get this picture again.
I hope all is well with all of you. The next time you hear from me will probably be with pictures of the first real snow . M.
Could you put out a distress email to your group. Yesterday late afternoon a Jack Russell Terrier named Ponzi wandered away from our house 2688 Lake Dunmore Road around 4 pm. He is white shorthaired. He belongs to my sister in law Deb Pratt .If found call 352-4302.
John M. from GMP sent a note saying they will hold the lake between where it is today and 2″ below that through the weekend. Enjoy the weather on the water folks.
Louise S. reports that Karen R. saw a bear yesterday on West Shore Rd. near Songa. I guess the bird feeders aren’t safe quite yet. Lots of late season owls on both ends of the lake too. I haven’t seen any loons in the little time we’ve spent on the lake in the last several days. One merganser yesterday, that was it.
The picture below is from Martha W. who took it on their last ride of the season last Sunday. What a beautiful shot, thank you. M.
There were 81 nest attempts in 2013, including 4 new nesting pairs. From 2010-2012, between 70 and 72 pairs nested each year.
Sixty-two nests were successful with 97 eggs hatching.
There is a chance that 6 nests were flooded with all the rain in late May and June.
We had 71 chicks survive through August this year; bald eagles took at least 2 of the chicks on Island Pond and Greenwood Lake. Most of the other chicks disappeared from unknown causes, but some losses I’m sure can be directly or indirectly attributed to intruder loons.
On Loonwatch day on 20 July, 288 adults were counted; volunteers observed 280 adults in 2012.
Two adults were rescued from entanglement in fishing gear, and 2 more were rescued after being found along roadways.
A more thorough analysis will be included in the Fall VCE Field Notes newsletter, and detailed reports and tables will be available later this fall on the VCE website.
Hearing the ghostly call of the loon coming through the evening mist is one of the quintessential experiences of being on Vermont’s lakes and ponds. A major reason we can now hear these calls throughout Vermont has been the use of floating nest-warning signs. These signs have made a huge difference in the recovery of the loon population, from less than 10 nesting pairs in the 1980s to over 70 nesting pairs today. To ensure the long-term conservation of Vermont’s Common Loons, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) and Vermont Loon Recovery Project (VLRP) need your help replacing old and damaged nest-warning signs. Click on your favorite lake below and help the loons by contributing to new nest-warning signs.
Please pass this information on to others who enjoy loons; we need your help to make this campaign successful. I have contacted most lake associations to help spread the word via e-mail and e-newsletters, but the best way to get people to help is to contact them directly.
Not All Good News in the Loon World -
Type E Botulism on the Great Lakes
Between 2000 and 2007, researchers estimated that over 40,000 adult loons died due to botulism from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior. In the following years, fewer cases were reported; thus we hoped the spread of the bacterium was declining. From 2010 to 2012, more than 6,000 additional loons died.
Botulism is naturally found in sediments. How do gulls, mergansers, cormorants, and loons ingest the toxin? The current thought is that an increase in the algae Cladophora causes low oxygen conditions where the botulism does better. Then, several bottom-feeding introduced species, zebra and quagga mussels and the round goby fish, ingest the botulism and bring it further up the food chain.
Outbreaks of botulism poisoning have occurred about once each decade since 1963, when over 3,000 loons were affected. Only since 2000 have the outbreaks become more frequent and intense.
Researchers are focusing on ways to cost-effectively detect where the botulism is present and to identify where loons and other birds are picking up the toxin. The big question will then be whether anything can be done to reduce bacteria concentrations or movement of the toxin up the food chain.
So far, no type E botulism cases have been reported on Lake Champlain.
Thank you volunteers and supporters. As always, the continued, remarkable success of Vermont’s breeding loon population could not happen without you.
That bird on our deck was a new goldfinch. It certainly was an odd place for it to rest but when it woke up, it flew away with no apparent problem.
Several folks reported two loons still here, and a passing osprey too.
Below is the foliage on Lake Dunmore as sent by Mary M. That’s about it too, so far.
And here is a misty North Cove a couple mornings ago sent by Louise S. Can you say “peaceful”?