You all know there was a loon chick hatched this year on Silver Lake. I got curious as to why this year and not others so went looking for a little info. With much help from GMP, we determined that this year was just luck. Normally water levels up there fluctuate up to 30″ during the summer because of rains and the fact that, in addition to using water to generate power, they use Silver Lake to keep Lake Dunmore steady. This summer there was a 35 day period when the water only fluctuated 3″ and that time period included all of July when the loons got their nesting done. We have no way of knowing whether they have tried before and failed or if this was the first time and they got lucky. Since that nest was a month later than ours, it’s possible they tried earlier and this was a second nesting. Since we have had loons reported up there all summer for the last two or three years at least, our guess is they have been trying. There is also a good possibility that it is one of our chicks from five or six years ago returning to the area like the text books say they should.
Now lets move a little further up stream to Goshen Dam where a pair spent the summer. We don’t know if they tried to nest or not but the water level there normally fluctuates 36″ during the summer and did vary 18″ during that same 35 day period I mentioned above. If they tried, it would have failed.
All that to tell you that to give them a better chance of success, GMP has not only given us permission to put a nesting raft at both Silver Lake and Goshen Dam but offered to help us do it. Since our pair have used the island for the last several years, we will use the raft from here at Goshen Dam and Eric is bringing one he made to put at Silver Lake. We are all set to put them in the middle of next week so we don’t have to worry about roads in the spring. In the spring however, we will be looking for help monitoring both sites though so put that on your to-do list please.
Got acorns? This is a couple days worth at the bottom of our driveway after I used my leaf blower to get them out from underfoot. I can’t remember the last time they were this plentiful. There are lots of pinecones too.