Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23, 2017

The Loon Preservation Committee posted on their Facebook page pictures of a loon that someone took at Lake Massabesic this week.

As soon as I saw them I thought "is that our loon?" as I recognized the bands from the female loon that has been on Lake Wicwas since at least 2014 when it was banded (no one knows how long before then).  I checked with John Cooley at the LPC and he confirmed that the best match is our Wicwas loon!  How amazing that someone caught our loon on April 10th, just a few days before the first loon arrived on Wicwas.  I don't know if any of the loons here right now are the banded loon - I did go looking but didn't get any leg wagging from the loons I found - but I'll bet that our loon was working her way home, using Massebesic as a way point until Wicwas was open enough to land.

I know there are a lot of concerns around Facebook, but there really is no better way to stay connected with what's happening these days, whether your interest is loon migration or Malaysian sovereign bonds.

After a couple of warm summer-like days early in the week the weather regressed back to April showers and weather that only a duck could love.  And the ducks certainly flocked to the haven of Lake Wicwas this past week.  In addition to the common mallards and black ducks dabbling the the coves we were treated to visits of Mergansers, Buffleheads, Wood Ducks, and Ring-necked Ducks.  Here are some birds I saw on my first kayak on the lake looking for banded loons.
A pair of Ring-necked ducks, infrequent visitors to Wicwas
A female Red Breasted Merganser

Three friends out on a ladies day

Common Megansers.  Come on guy, time to decide
Here's a pair that hooked up

Mergansers in flight
Buffleheads, an occasional visitor
Buffleheads on the wing

Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck are regular residents in our cove

On occasion birds of a different feather flocked together, but didn't socialize for long.
Mr. Wood giving the mergansers a stern look

Up on dry land the phoebes have arrived, signaling that the insects are close at hand.

Being flycatchers, they tend to migrate north with the bugs.  I've heard a warbler or two, and just today saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Yellow-rumped Warbler resting in a Red Maple between insect-catching sorties
And the seed eaters are wondering where that feeder has gone.
"I know it was right here!"
The spring foliage season has also begun and the hills behind the lake have a reddish tinge to them as the maples put out their flowers in preparation for sprouting leaves on the next warm day.

I'm hoping we don't have wait long for that kind of weather to return even if does mean the demise of duck days;  today was a good start.


  1. Betty and Harold Smith first rented from the Harris's in the '70s and now the 40 year old "kids" are still returning. Wicwas Lake is a wonderful small piece of Heaven. Thanks for sharing its beauty.

    1. Yes, it has been a special place for many people over the years. And thanks to the Harrises and many other like-minded conservationists, it will continue be for generations to come.