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.