More Time with the Loons

Last weekend, I was able to spend both mornings on the Middleton’s Pond. They’ve got a new neighbor, it looks like they may be having second thoughts about the nest location and they, once again, told an intruder to go away.

I’ll be down at the Paradise City Show in Northampton, MA, over Memorial Day Weekend. I’ll have lots of wildlife prints, including lots of loons, as well as note cards. Stop by to say hello. All the show details here.

Saturday morning found a great egret foraging not far from where the loons nested last year and may again this year. The loons were off in another cove on the pond.

Our loons were busy making little loons again.
Once again, an intruding loon arrived on the pond. The home team left their cove to challenge him. The home team male yodeled a couple times to explain the situation to the intruder.
This time, the intruder quickly took the hint and departed. The home team went off to look at real estate.
Several sandpipers have arrived on the pond and spend time foraging along the water’s edge or from downed trees.
Painted turtles took advantage of the morning sunlight.
The great egret moved over to a stretch of reeds along the pond.
Shaking water off after an unsuccessful strike.
The next try was successful, the egret came up with a bluegill.
Whenever I watch an egret walking through the reeds, I think they look like someone stalking off to speak to the manager.
There were two osprey around the pond. While one would circle the pond, the other would perch and call. It sounded like a challenge. I wonder if a third osprey was visiting the pond and the home team osprey were objecting.
A quick wing stretch.
Sunday morning, the loons had a long discussion near last year’s nesting site, the same site they worked on last week.
The literature says male loons select the nesting site. From what I’ve seen, it appears to be a joint decision. They’ll both explore the options and exchange soft hoots and wails. If they see a promising spot, one or both loons may haul out and sit on the spot for a few minutes. They also seem to explore the underwater escape routes from any potential site.
After checking out three sites near last year’s site, they moved over to the reeds and explored options there. This is where they nested in 2017 when the female was killed by a Canada goose with a nearby nest. If we still have the same male, I wonder if that will play into the decision if they’re looking in the reeds.
The loons seemed unconcerned about the egret’s presence. I suspect that will change when the chicks arrive. A young chick would be an easy meal for an egret.
And, I can’t resist a nice wing stretch for a pic.
One more wing stretch….

I’m anxiously watching the weather, itching to get back to see if they’ve decided on a nesting site.

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One Comment

  1. Reply
    Bonnie Curtin May 17, 2023

    Love your photos and notes accompanying them. Got a kick out of your interpretation of the egret looking as if he’s stalking off to see the manager. You nailed that one!

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