The loons have nested in front of the reeds towards the back end of Cove Point. We saw them there two weeks ago today at which time that nice high nest was just a boggy mass barely above water level. It has taken them this long to work on height I guess. This is about two weeks later than they have normally nested here but still a week or more within a “normal” window.
The good news is that it is far enough back that speed boats and jet skis are not an issue. It took only three signs to effectively alert kayakers and fishermen that they should go no further. Anyone who wishes to spy on them can not possibly miss finding the site. It is totally exposed and you can see if one is on the nest from the middle of the lake if you are looking in the right place.
The possibly not so good news is that there are five or six camps on the back side of that reedy patch and the owners will pass within thirty-forty feet of the nest as they come and go. Since it has been extra quiet on the lake due to the less than perfect weather, the loons haven’t had much of that to deal with. They certainly can and should adapt if folks don’t linger too long when passing by. I hope to talk to the folks in the camps before the weekend and let them know what is happening if they don’t know already. If you know who those folks are, please let me know and maybe I can do it by e-mail for those not already here.
Why, you ask, would the loons choose to nest in that totally exposed area in the hot sun when they had a perfectly good shady spot on the island?
Possibly because the island has been very busy this spring as these photos from Kathy D. clearly show.
The eagle(s) frequently use it for an observation platform and lunch counter.
The osprey has what looks like a well worn branch too. Though the ospreys are strictly fish eaters and they don’t bother the loons,
the eagle(s) are a threat to the eggs and the chicks. The above pictures were taken a couple days ago but the one below is today. Thank you Kathy. There is a wonderful osprey picture I couldn’t import, I hope we get it figured out so I can send that along too. Keep scrolling down for a little more to the story.
At the moment, I have no idea how many loons we have on the lake. There could be as few as three, as I think we had last year, or there could easily be at least five. One that I am very confident is not one of the pair spends most of its time in the cove just to the right as you come out of the access. There is often another one with it and I have no idea if it is one of the pair visiting, or number four. I even looked hard at the shoreline around that cove for a nest but found nothing. There are two frequently seen in North Cove and off Keewaydin. They could be any combination of the ones already mentioned or they could be separate. Any time you see them, please send me a note with the place and time and eventually we might be able to make a fairly educated guess. Of course one could be visiting here from Silver Lake or Goshen Dam but sometimes we can even figure that out.
The nest on the raft at Goshen Dam is fine as of yesterday. That is a very curious pair. If you are lucky enough to float in to watch them, drift quietly and they might come very close to you. They even come over to check out folks on the shore.
Sally is going to try to get to Silver Lake tomorrow afternoon to try to confirm a nest there. I plan to try on Wednesday if she can’t make it.
State wide loon count day is July 15th and we can always use extra eyes on the boats here on Dunmore. Since I only know of Rosie and me at the moment, we also need 2 more boats with spotters. If you’d like to help, please let me know.
Milfoil buoys seem mostly yellow this year and there are a huge number of them around the lake. Please try to avoid them if possible and educate others (renters) to do the same. The good news appears that many buoys might be on single plants or small patches since a crew cleared several today across from us. I also saw another crew on the spine and I think a third crew might have been just north of Sucker Brook so lets hope they were equally as effective. Mike