I was hoping to attach a short video of the loon chase since I can’t e-mail videos. The attachment doesn’t work either. Does anyone familiar with i-photo know how to do it?
Allon W. had a sow with 3 cubs show up in his yard a couple weeks ago. They stayed a while and here are a couple of his pictures, taken from the second floor deck by the way.
Here’s my lucky shot when the storm went through today. I’ve been trying to do this a long time but even with my camera up and pointed, the lightening has alway been gone by the time I could react. This strike lasted so long that I not only had time to react but the camera got two shots of it. The second shot is slightly less intense but that’s still one long lasting jolt of electricity. Thankfully it didn’t hit further down the mountain.
Lightening strike. 5/27/15
I have a lot of news today so will do it in two notes.
Old business first. Gary M. was the first with an ID of the critter on my son’s hand so we’ll let him tell it.
“The orange critter you didn’t know is the red-spotted newt. This is the red eft, or adult (terrestrial) stage of this type of salamander. The larval, or aquatic stage, is more of an olive color and spends its time is ponds and lakes, often floating at the surface. The species is actually quite common around here, though we haven’t seen as many this year as in some previous years.”
A lot of folks had a good description and stories about the red eft, thank you to you all. I really don’t remember ever seeing one.
Next. Sue W’s bird is a cerulean warbler, quite a sighting for any birder.
New business is that beavers have built a dam across the tunnel at the north end of the lake. That can’t be good. They also saw very large carp on the lake side of the tunnel trying to get through to the swampy side. Carp in the lake is also not good. I recommended they let the town know about the dam. They are looking for ideas about what they might do about the carp. One of those beavers may be the animal Kathy D. saw swim by the island the other day.
Good news is that the loons have established a nest, the same one as previous years on the east side. They left he nest briefly several times while I floated there and I can’t see an egg in my blown up pictures. I was way out though. Every time the female gets off the nest the male swims over and looks hard, so maybe he is waiting too.
At one point the male swam out in high alert mode and after looking east and then south he spotted the intruder.
And the chase was on. It was non-stop “water walking” (running) for over 15 minutes I’m sure.
After the first several minutes south and southwest of the island, they came back up the west side and
passed right by the us. They zig-zagged back and forth and up and down between the island and west shore for a while before the intruder started north. Our bird didn’t stop chasing until they were a hundred or more yards up the lake.
Our male watched the intruder until it dove another 50 or so yards away.
It then gave a fluff but
didn’t relax until looking to make sure the other bird wasn’t doubling back underwater. The female then came off the nest to join him. Very exciting stuff for us loon nuts.
Another e-mail coming. M.
Good news is that Kathy D. saw the loon pair go on the beach at the island yesterday. That would be for mating. Rosie and I watched them go around the island again last evening and look hard at the previous nesting site on both sides. We were floating way out today when they both went behind the rock in front of the east side site today. We were too far out and at a bad angle to see if they jumped up on shore there. The timing they spent out of sight would have been right though.
There were probably at least 6 loons on the lake today. 2 pairs and 2 singles were sighted at various times and places at both ends of the lake so the final count is a ????
Kathy D. also saw a large swimming animal just off the island yesterday too. There’s nothing to do about that except hope it kept going.
From Sue W, a warbler that the birders in the group will appreciate.
This from my son and S/O hiking just south of Silver Lake. I don’t recall ever seeing anything like it, whatever it is.
I got a bunch of pictures of the loons near the signs yesterday. This is one of the better ones but I’m still sorting. I’m hoping to hear from Elaine C. who was out there shooting too.
These last three are from Kathy D. She says the first is a painted trillium,
This second one is a pink lady slipper,
and this last one is of mountain pinks, wild azaleas. I’m happy to take her word on all of that. Enjoy, Mike
There is a yellow kayak that blew away during the wind a few days ago. It left the area near Branbury but could be anywhere by now. Let me know if you see it please, or call Phyllis W. 247-3213.
The loons have been circling the island for over a week but apparently still haven’t picked a place. This picture is the west side but they looked hard at the east side site too.
Eric, more of these coming tomorrow.
While fishing today, I saw another pair land right next to our two with little fanfare. They did several minutes of circling both above and below water before 3 swam off together. The 4th just disappeared after all 4 dove. More pictures and commentary when I get a moment tomorrow. How does the schedule get so busy? Mike
BLSG has commercial application status as of today. Will be able to start applying to private roads as soon as tomorrow.