Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Loons: Two at a Time

Since I observed my first loon of the season back on March 18th I have observed at least one and as many as three during each of my lake visits.  This past Friday was no exception but what was different was that the two loons were swimming together.  Both loons were still displaying their non-breeding plumage. 


As both sexes of loons appear identical, at least to me, I have no idea whether this is a pair, siblings, or just a happenstance that they were together during this phase of the journey northward. 


I have noticed a great difference in individual birds when it comes to their tolerance of me and my boat.  Many loons will dive while I am still well out of camera range while others will allow me to approach slowly without showing undue concern.  This pair was watchful but not overly concerned about my presence as long as I moved slowly and maintained a respectful distance.  If loon migration continues to follow its normal pattern I will have 2-3 weeks yet before the last loons move on.

Our weather has been very erratic lately.  Friday the high temp was in the lower 30's F and just previous to this encounter a sleet storm piled up perhaps a quarter of an inch of accumulation in the boat.  By Sunday temps had risen to the mid 70's and Monday had reached into the 80's!  Both extremes are unseasonable for our region at this time of year.

8 comments:

Blair Cessna said...

Great post Coy. Nicely done. I'm wishing you continued success with these amazingly beautiful creatures. Looking forward to further updates on your time with the Loons.

Montanagirl said...

Love the Loons. Nice work!

texwisgirl said...

oh wow. the 2nd and 3rd shots are beautiful!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Any Loon sighting is special.To have two at once is exceptional.

Meggie said...

"Their non breeding plumage?" Who knew there was such a thing? Not I! Another reason I tune in to Country Captures... You're such a good instructor, Coy! Thanks! PS: Erratic weather, to say the least!

Shelley said...

Love your Loons! Mine just recently returned to the lake. The loon on the left is definitely a male and I'm pretty sure the female is on the right. Usually you can tell by the beak, the males is always larger and longer. Looking forward to more loon photos. (We built a nesting loon raft this past weekend and are hopeful our loons will use it. They had a nest failure last year due to some errant neighbor.)

WildIrishRose33 said...

I love loons! The sound they make is so haunting and beautiful. Wonderful shots! Going to look around some more at your other posts!
If you dont mind checking out my Camera Critter's post I'd really appreciate it! It's a topic very close to my heart.

HANNIBAL said...

Great post about those loons! Nice photos too!