Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fishing & The Common Loon


I first encountered the Common Loons many years ago when as a teenager I began car-topping a little 12’ jon boat to a nearby lake for fishing. I enjoyed hearing their lonesome calls and on occasion was close enough to make out their striking plumage. I didn’t pay enough attention though to realize that the loons were transients passing through on their annual migration. My attention instead was centered on the fishing.

With the rekindling of my interest in wildlife photography I find myself paying much more attention to details and digital photography allows me to easily check image dates to see when my first and last encounters with a given migratory species occurs.

Upon arriving at the lake on a recent morning I observed six loons fishing directly in front of the boat launch. Moving into the area I was soon treated to an interesting and beautiful display as the loons continued their fishing with little concern for the presence of my boat. Occasionally the water would boil beside the boat with minnows flying through the air as a loon pursued them to within inches of the waters surface. Other times a loon would pop up nearby and look around for a moment before submerging.

Finally after shooting around 150 images I reluctantly left the loons to do a little fishing of my own.

This image of the Loon stretching its wings is my favorite from the extended photo session.

18 comments:

Happy Days said...

The Common Loon really is a pretty bird with its neck ring, and large light eyes and speckled body. He looks to be a large bird. I have never seen a real Loon. (except myself at times)Does his head have a little green? lovely photo...debbie

Shellmo said...

This is just one of the best photos I've seen of the Loon spreading his wings! Love this!Usually when they spread their wings and prop up out of the water like this it means he's warning others that they are too close or as a warning to other loons to his territory. I await eagerly for their return to Michigan. We have a nesting pair on our lake every year.

Shellmo said...

P.S. I hope you post more Loon photos! :-)

Kallen305 said...

What a gorgeous Loon shot!! I had my first experience with one after many years this past Sunday and they are beautiful birds.

I am with Shelley and would LOVE to see more if you have them. :o)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh my goodness!That is so spectacular.
Blessings,Ruth

Natural Moments said...

It looks like he is telling a big fish story. :)

Steve B said...

Yes, this is an "oooooo-aaaaaah" shot.

Leedra said...

Soon as I saw the loon photos I thought of Shelley. She has already commented. Love this photo of the loon.

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Ken Conger Photography said...

Great Loon capture Salty. Unique pose and nice and sharp.

Your duck is a Surf Scoter. Usually found off the coast. Probably a late migrant a tad off course.

Blue Skies.

Chris said...

This is a pretty bird, I guess it is similar to our great northern diver. They are now coming back home to breed. The first ones have been spotted on myvatn already!

Michele said...

Magnificent! What an amazing shot! Now that our waters are finally thawing out, I will soon be out there doing what I love to do, my fly fishing as well. Hopefully I will be able to see some sights as these!

Bird Girl said...

Just a glorious shot! I envy those from states like MN that get to see these Loon families nest! You are lucky to get this wonderful picture while they are passing through!

Kahshe Cottager said...

What a wonderful shot! Loons summer on our lake and I am looking forward to their arrival. Sometimes they come quite close but I have never managed as nice a shot as this one. I love their haunting call as it echoes across the lake especially in the evenings.

Montanagirl said...

That's beautiful shot of the Loon. Did you catch any fish of your own? (lol).

imac said...

A Loony good shot Salty.

photowannabe said...

Beautiful bird and a great action shot. Right now all I see are lovesick doves and wrens trying to build a nest in the most inconvenient places (for me).

fishing guy said...

Salty: I love the sound of the Loon but they don't seem to use our flyway.

Judy said...

Really a lovely shot! Different from most of the photos one sees!