|A White Heron?|
Could it be a Great Egret? It must be: farther along my trip I saw another one, or the same one now fishing along the shoreline, and it sure looks like an egret to me!
|A Great Egret on Lake Wicwas|
The closest reported breeding range is the southern coast of Maine, but with the warming temperatures it's not unexpected that animals will be moving their ranges farther north and inland. I'd be interested to know if anyone has ever seen a Great Egret in the Lakes Region. Do you think our local herons were up there investigating this strange new visitor to their lake?
|Coming in for a landing|
|Those large wings provide a lot of lift|
On the return trip home I heard the loons farther down the lake hollering at each other, and could see the splashing of their chasing each other reflecting in the morning sun. One loon took flight and landed perhaps 100 yards to the west of me, so I put down my paddle to sit quietly and watch. It swam slowly right toward me, similarly to last week's event.
Another bird that spends its life over water is the Eastern Kingbird, and this week some special caretakers of our lake alerted me to a kingbird nest hanging over the water, and invited me over to see it from their deck. (Thanks S&DL!)
|A family of Eastern Kingbirds living safely over the water|
|A dragon fly makes a good size meal for these little fellas|
|Down the hatch!|
This week we took a trip up to Baxter State Park; I had never climbed Mt. Katahdin and the knife edge, and it had been on my list for a long time. It is beautiful country up there, different than the white mountains and lakes region in many ways. And the mountain is truly spectacular.
|Pamola summit and the knife edge on Mt. Katahdin|
Of course, we were drawn to the many lakes n Baxter State Park, and during a canoe trip on Kidney Pond we saw the two most sought after animals in the park: moose and loons.
|Moose in Baxter State Park|
|Feasting on Kidney Pond aquatic plants|
Kidney Pond is experiencing the same loon issue as Lake Wicwas. While we were there we witnessed territorial fighting as a pair of loons drove away a single loon.
|A lone loon wing-rowing to escape the resident pair in Kidney Pond|
Hearing visitors who travel from around the country (or the world), and even the Baxter State Park rangers talking about these beautiful animals made me realize once again just how fortunate those of us who get to experience Lake Wicwas are. We see and hear the beauty of the loons almost every day, and on occasion get to experience a moose right here on our lake.
|A Wicwas Moose strolling on Chemung Rd|