Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19, 2016

My hope for a loon nesting on Lake Wicwas this summer is fading slowly away.  On Friday I saw both pairs out fishing on the lake, meaning no one was home sitting on a nest.
Pair #1 - Perhaps our long standing pair

The two pairs were far away from one another so were calm and quiet, but their trajectories looked like they would meet up soon enough.  One pair was much less shy than the other;  this pair swam directly towards me as I sat in a cove on the east side of the lake.  My guess is they wanted to fish in that cove!
The other pair kept their distance, off on the other side of Sheep Island, but were acting like newly weds!
Pair #2 - Are these the newlyweds?
The raised forehead indicates this pair was less comfortable around people

Today the two pairs met up and it was bedlam - wild hollering and loons wing-swimming rapidly across the water chasing each other all over the lake.  Here's my speculation on the loon picture on Wicwas.  (Bear in mind, I'm just making this up.  I'm sure the court of nature would have me dis-barred for presenting purely speculative arguments!)  I think half of the second pair is the lone loon that has been on the lake for the past two years - the one I dubbed "killer" after charging it with the death of last year's chicks (again with no hard evidence).  It decided back in 2014 that it wants Wicwas as its home, and now having matured to breeding age, it found a mate this past winter and brought him or her back to homestead.  At this point either the two pairs will have to learn to share the lake, or one of them will be driven off.  But I expect our long standing pair has no interest in trying to raise another family after last year's experience.  We'll get to ask questions about all this on August 6th at the Lake Wicwas Annual Meeting where John Cooley, Senior Biologist at the Loon Preservation Committee will be the guest speaker.  Mark your calendars!

Tree pollen season is wrapping up with the White Pine being the final culprit, leaving that thick yellow-green coating on everything.  White pine pollen is released from thousands of tiny male cones way up high on the tips of the branches so it drift down to pollinate the female cones over many trees.

All the wind this week stripped some of those branches off the trees so we could get a better look at these pollen factories.
Male cones of the White Pine are the pollen source
As all the pollen gets filtered out of the lake the water is clearing up again nicely with visibility at least 8 feet.

We took a trip up to Franconia Notch and Sugar Hill this week to see the Lupines (well, at least that was the excuse to go to Polly's Pancake Parlor for breakfast).  The Lupines are quite spectacular this year, and we were also treated to a bald eagle soaring high above Pearl Lake.
Lupine at Sugar Hill

Bald Eagle over Pearl Lake

I have yet to hear a report of any fawns in the area, but the adults are around.  I caught this beautiful animal bounding across an open area beside the lake.  Let me know if you see a fawn.

Finally, on this father's day, I want to share this wonderful photo of a father Cardinal feeding its child.  It was taken by a friend who is an excellent photographer - he is inspiring me to improve my skills!
Photo by PC Chao

Happy Father's Day!


  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and wildlife updates. We really enjoy the blog! Kim and Martha

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and wildlife updates. We really enjoy the blog! Kim and Martha