This morning I saw the loon climb on the nest and kick debris from the nest bowl. It then proceeded to reach around and pick up leaves and twigs and bring them in close to its body. Scroll down for Sally’s and Lani’s reports.
From Sally who went up this morning.
The Silver Pair were doing the same “nest site searching” that we saw with the Dunmore Pair. They paced the shore between their old nest site and the large rectangle rock south of that (towards the dam). They did not go on land, but looked like they were going to many times. A lot of cooing, hooting and mewing. Eventually one went out fishing towards the dam. The other drifted in the middle, hooting and cooing. The fishing one joined it and they started pacing the shore I was on. Then they disappeared, heading north.
The Sugar Hill Pair was hanging out near the platform. They fished together, but also spent a lot of time in courtship: tight circling, simultaneous splashing diving, bill dipping and bill tucking, a lot of mewing, hooting and cooing. There was a fishing boat in that area the whole time. They will have to get used to that. At one point the larger bird went to the platform, circled it, stopped and “looked in”. It was really cute. They disappeared around the corner after about an hour.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we have 3 nesting pairs within a week. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sugar Pair uses the platform, although the shoreline has a lot of nice nesting spots, so who knows.
And from Lani who was there this afternoon.
They stayed very close as we got near the platform. (Not close at all) They seemed upset and there were people with a dog fishing by the beaver lodge. We paddled over to where the brook comes in and the pair were close to shore to the left of the brook. Then they got closer to us as we went back even with the platform. We didn’t go close to it and tried to avoid them but they seemed to follow us. As we passed the little bay where the platform is, on our way back to the put in, one came up and stretched out like it was lying on the water. Never saw that but assumed it was threatening. No calls or any other displays.
Me again. Based on the described loon behavior, my guess is that they got a little too close for the loon’s comfort, something difficult to avoid since the area is so small. We may put a couple signs up there and hope they help but in fact, the loons will have to get used to people nearby if they use the raft. If they don’t use the raft, the chance of the nest surviving is slim due to the “normal” water levels fluctuating up to 3 feet up there. We can only keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Mike