Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014

I didn't get up to Lake Wicwas over the holiday weekend, but a local observer saw two eagles devouring a large bass on the ice near Bryant Island.  His thought is that an otter brought it up onto the ice.  Now that's a big challenge for an otter, even if the fish do have lower energy levels due to the cold water.  He also saw a Fisher Cat making one of its final trips out to the island;  hopefully the ice will be going soon, as there is a forecast for warm weather the next couple of days.

The ice in Meredith bay on Lake Winnipesaukee is coming out fast, but other parts of the lake are still frozen over - Weirs Beach, for example:

View from Weirs Beach at 8:51 am on April 20
There is series of web-cameras around Winnipesaukee that you can watch to follow the ice retreating from the big lake.  The link to the Winnipesaukee Ice-Out site is:

The answer to last week's question on the historical marker is the Lakeport Dam, which sets the lake level for Winnipeasukee.  Last week it was flowing quickly, but far from the highest flow we've seen.  The cool spring without any really warm weather has allowed a slow and steady snow melt this year.

The Lakeport Dam where it Empties into Opechee Bay

Both Winnipesaukee and Wicwas empty in Lake Winnisquam, which then flows into the Winnipesaukee River on its way to the Merrimack River, and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean.

Just now, another nature watcher sent me a picture of the first loon of the year!  The ice has left a portion of the lake, apparently enough to let a loon land.  I don't know if it is a resident, or just stopping here on its way to its summer home.  At any rate, it is another sign that spring is close at hand!
First Loon Sighting - April 20, 2014

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