Sunday, July 1, 2012

July 1, 2012

July is here, the longest day of the year has passed, and summer is in full swing as Lake Wicwas prepares for the big holiday week.  On Saturday the lake was home to a fishing tournament - there were quite a few bass boats on the lake, but the fishermen are quite polite and non-intrusive - great visitors all around. As a study in extremes, look at these two very different approaches to same sport of attempting to outwit a fish:
250 Horsepower
250 Horsefly Power

The loons on Lake Wicwas have had a difficult year so far, but they are still trying to have a successful nesting.  Their first attempt was foiled by the rapid water level changes, which forced them to abandon their egg on the nest, as the receding water left it too far from the waters edge. 

Their current site is highly visible, on an island right in the middle of the lake. 

The loon committee has a tough decision between keeping loon nesting sites hidden, or making them extremely visible as they have done with the current site.  Because so many people visit this island, especially with this second nesting attempt right at the the peak of the summer season, they determined the best approach was to mark it clearly and ask people to stay away. 

I have no idea where the nest is, and I'm not going to look for it.  Any approach near a nest will cause the loon to leave the nest, which leaves the egg vulnerable to predators, as well as temperature changes which can quickly kill an egg by either being too cold or too hot.  When one understands just how many threats there are to a successful nesting, it becomes clear why we must help them every way we can, mostly by leaving them alone, but also by not using lead fishing tackle, which is the number one killer of loons.  If you ever see a loon acting strange, it means you are too close and you should move away quickly. 

There is also a third loon still on the lake, far away from the nesting pair, mostly just floating calmly and not moving around much.

It sometimes pops up quite close to us when we're swimming, and seems to enjoy waving its foot at us.

While the loons struggle to hatch a single chick, the Canada Geese have no such problem.  We counted 37 in this flock, and that's not all of them, as there's at least one other family with much younger chicks.

The weekend concluded with a quick rain storm on Sunday evening, but cleared in time for nice sunset and a nearly full moon rising over the lake.

1 comment:

  1. I miss the lake. We have no water right now :(