Possible photography class

Hi folks, Last summer, LDFLA sponsored a night photography class that was WONDERFUL. Photographer Dan Lovell quickly adjusted his expectations to our very, (VERY) inexperienced level and we all learned things about our cameras we never knew and we all ended up taking great pictures I never thought were possible with our cameras. He is offering another class this summer, see the info below for details. If you have an interest and a preferred date, please reply to Marian Bauer at mariondbauer.

We could do something regarding long daytime exposures. I could provide filters for the class, with a $10 fee for them, I buy these in bulk for all of my classes and provide them at cost. We could use Sucker Brook and Falls of Lana to create beautiful waterscapes, as well as the beach toward the end of the evening, ending around dark. Possible dates are July 26th, 28th or 29th or, we could shoot for any day the week of the fourth.

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More loon action, everywhere

Hi all,
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.

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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

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Busy couple days, finally some action

Hi all,
Definitely a summery holiday weekend so far. Rosie and I took a ride up the lake late afternoon yesterday and though we had to keep moving to keep cool in the 90ish heat, we caught a beautiful sunset.

I was out early again this morning and found the pair plus one adult in the middle of the big lake. The single was keeping itself separated from the pair by 50-60’ and when the pair swam by me southbound, the single dove and I never saw where it surfaced. There has been a sub-adult reported along West Shore Rd. too but I haven’t seen it yet.

Shortly after, southbound by Sucker Brook, I caught a flash of movement landing in a tree just west of the island. As I moved closer, snapping pictures as I went,

I was lucky enough to catch the immature bald eagle leaving its perch.

You can’t see them in this picture but it was being chased by a pair of red winged black birds.

I’ve been having difficulty regularly finding the loons and was getting concerned about seeing no nesting behavior. Early afternoon however, we were out for a ride with Sally and were lucky enough to find them twice. The first time they were feeding by the slalom course. The second, they were circling the island close in so we circled the island far out so as to not disturb them. They looked hard at several spots on both sides and finally ended up back at the same site as the last couple years.

We thought they were going to mate when one scooted ashore but the other stayed in the water as the one moved into the nest site and after several minutes appeared to possibly be laying an egg.

Then, surprisingly, the second one came ashore and went to a spot just to the right of the first as the first one went back in the water. It stayed a couple minutes before rejoining its mate floating near the signs. Sally said she has never seen this happen before and can offer no explanation. Blowups of the nest site show no egg yet but I’m relieved they are moving in the right direction. I so hope to see them nested in the next couple days so the eggs hatch before the 4th of July busyness. Sally is planning to check Silver Lake tomorrow and maybe someone will get to Goshen Dam soon too. I welcome reports from anyone going either place, even if you see nothing. Happy holiday to all. Mike

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Beautiful day

Hi all,
We took a little dinner cruise this evening and could not have asked for more pleasant weather, 80 degrees, no wind and a light cloud cover to keep it from being too warm. We only encountered a couple other boats floating out there too, I expect that will change this weekend.

The loons have been very hard for me to find the last few days even though Kathy D. sees them morning and evening in the vicinity of the island. We missed them on the way north tonight but there they were by the island on our way home. They should be nesting in the next week if they stay on schedule. I sure hope they do it so the hatch beats the July 4th holiday by a few days, it’s much easier on my nervous system.

We’ll go out in a blaze of color again thanks to Kathy. I’m told this is a pink lady’s slipper and

clintonia. Enjoy, Mike

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The last couple days

Hi all,
Kathy’s famous azalea in full bloom.

Last evening we were coming by the island looking for loons and not finding any. We looked up and could see why.

Since we are in chronological order, this is Ashley’s paddle home from the pub last night.

This evening we found the pair feeding east of the island on our way north and then again on the NW side on our way back. One was seen in close to the island yesterday, I’m glad we have the signs in place.

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Shortly after, the direction to be looking was again up as this osprey passed over. Earlier we had seen several TV’s soaring over Rattlesnake Cliffs too.

Leaving the boat, I looked back to catch a moonrise. A very nice day all in all. Mike

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Birds, fish, and flowers

Hi all,
Loon status up the hill is unchanged but 2 separate pairs and a single were seen here on Dunmore. We continue to hear one fly in early every morning, I wish I knew from where.
An eagle has been seen over the north end several times in the last several days. Maybe we have a nest nearby this year.
That hawk I sent out yesterday is a broad wing says Sue W. I never would have figured it out, so many hawks are so similar.
Our one and only bird picture is a picture of a painting of one of my pictures. How cool is that, and how beautiful it is. Thank you so much Barb N. for sending it in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it.

In the fish department, we have this handful caught off the dock yesterday morning by Karl H. down in South Cove. It went back in the lake to be caught again so get your poles out.

The next three are from Ashley who says the woods are full of color right now.

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ferns

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And we finish with one just sent in by Neil M. who didn’t even have to leave the yard. Thank you to all the photographers (and artists) for sending them in. Mike

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Loon update, & bird pics

Hi all,
Here we have a red shouldered hawk displaying how tough NYC birds are. Louise S. sent in these pictures of it in the hallway of her apartment building after it crashed through a window.

After it staggered around a while it made its way back to its point of entry and departed.

Sunset on Lake Dunmore last night taken by Kiwi P. It is so beautiful here.

Just after noon today, the Loonatic was loaded with the signs ready for departure. With Kiwi and Robin P’s help we got them quickly in place at the island. We saw no loons on a quick trip around the lake though. There were three seen at the north end yesterday and Sally saw the pair at Silver Lake as well as one at Goshen Dam.

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Today in Goshen, I didn’t see any loons but I did see this hawk on the way out. I I have a guess but I’m waiting for confirmation before guessing wrong again.

I’m pretty sure this pose was caused by wind and is not a suggestion by the bird as to what I can do.

We finish with Ashley’s “favorite flower”, a purple jack-in-the-pulpit. Enjoy, Mike

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