Every year as we watch the lake ice deteriorate it reminds us that another amazing season is upon us, the season of life.
The anticipation and the excitement builds as we wait and hope for the Loons to return from their winter in the Gulf of Mexico. They cover so many miles during their migratory flights that it’s always a miracle to see one or both of them make it back to the nest knowing the elements that they have to endure to stay healthy enough to survive.
The first portion of our lake that opens are the Inlets where the currents flowing in are strong enough to break up and push out the weak ice providing enough open water for the Loons to land. When this begins we try to keep a close eye on that area for their arrival.
On March 30th Joel was letting our lab, Jovie, out and saw a Loon fly right overhead toward the inlets. I hurried with my camera down to our neighbors for a closer view and I was so excited to see that the first Loon had arrived.
April 2nd, after a few days of gusty North winds, the lake is almost completely ice free. Now we are hoping to see more Loons arrive when the winds are more favorable for them to complete their long flight. We usually have a total of 4 pair on Two Inlets Lake each year.
April 3rd, I was enjoying my early morning coffee at my desk watching the Loon Webcam when I spotted a Loon way over towards the North end of the lake. I watched it closely as it took a dive and surfaced closer to our shoreline. Now my heart is starting to pound hoping this could be one of our parents. As I’m giving Joel play-by-play from my desk the Loon took another dive and surfaced even closer! So now, totally unprepared to venture outside in this 25° morning still in my PJ’s, I grabbed my coat and I’m out the door with my camera with not a second to waste. I made it down to the lake to see that the Loon had found it’s way to the nesting area! I’m overjoyed at this point knowing that one of our parents have made the incredible journey back to us. Just as I zoomed in for pics I was greeted with this beautiful hello. “Welcome back sweetheart,” I said.
I rushed back to the house, light on my feet, to tell Joel and we decided that we should put the nest in right away.
A few minutes later the parent is resting and I’m wondering if he/she is relieved to have completed another long exhausting trip.
After 11 seasons of putting the loon’s nest in, we have fine tuned a great system to do this safely and quickly because the icy cold water is very painful to work in.
Dragging the heavy nest into the water is the first major task and what an absolutely gorgeous morning it was to do this.
Now to anchor the nest in place for the season.
The waiting begins….. We wait to see if the spouse returns.
When the Loons arrive they become extremely vocal with all their beautiful eerie calls, which they use specifically to find their mate. They do not winter together so when they arrive and find each other, their courtship is amazing to watch. Once Papa claims the nest they will both prepare the “nest bowl” for the egg(s). Stay tuned ~ Tracey